DO YOU know how to deal with toxic workplace gossip?

We have all heard secret stories about a boss or colleague. Sometimes they inform us of issues we need to know but many are nasty. They serve no purpose but to harm the image and reputations of the people being discussed.

Helene Vermaak, director or The Human Edge, said: “When you stay silent you are tacitly supporting what was being gossiped about. When you do not speak against an event or agreement, it is assumed you agree to it by your silence – you are being tacit.”

The stories of our life

We all like to feel important and appreciated by our peers. No one wakes up wanting to be an evil villain. But to cope with life’s crazy chaos, we need villains to blame for when life is hard or when we need to feel better about ourselves.

Toxic gossip stops with you

If you are uncertain about when the gossip has turned toxic, analyse its content, patterns and relationships.

Content: How much of what you hear is fact? People create or twist facts to suit the theme of the story. By focusing on the known facts, the rest of the gossip is an ugly story needed to connect the dots.

Pattern: Gossip is addictive. The more toxic gossip that is spread, the easier it becomes to spread, and if you spread toxic gossip, toxic gossip is spread about you.

By focusing on the habit of gossiping, you address a core motivation of the gossiper.

Relationship: The cost of gossip is that it, sooner or later, it ruins the gossiper’s relationships to others, so why do it?