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
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
If you are uncertain about when the gossip has turned
toxic, analyse its content, patterns and relationships.
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.
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
By focusing on the habit of gossiping, you address a core
motivation of the gossiper.
The cost of gossip is that it, sooner or later, it ruins the gossiper’s
relationships to others, so why do it?