How not to become a victim of workplace gossip



A popular Korean proverb says, “Words have no wings but they can fly a thousand miles.” And words with no truth can travel even faster, right?

Where there are people, there will be gossip and a workplace is one such place where gossip and rumours can spread even faster than wildfire.

It doesn’t matter whether there is any truth in it or not, rumours and idle gossip is not only disturbing, but it can sometimes even destroy a person’s reputation.

So, in case your workplace is full of colleagues who enjoy talking behind people’s back, here’s what you need to do to not become the victim of office gossip.

1. Never discuss personal matters with colleagues

Even if you are friends with your colleagues, always think twice before sharing personal details with him. It’s good to have friends in the office but at the same time, you also need to maintain some space. Because you never know someday your trusted colleague might become a competitor and might use vulnerable information that you had shared earlier to attack you.

2. Avoid people who have the habit of gossiping

Remember the old proverb that says, “Who gossips with you will gossip about you.” Gossiping might seem like a harmless activity at first but once you get involved in it, there is no getting away. That is how gossip spreads, from one mouth to another. So, people who often gossip with you or share interesting news about others with you might end up making you an object of their gossip as well.

3. Never spread gossip

Refrain from encouraging and entertaining people who talk about others. If you find a workplace friend or colleague talking behind someone’s back, very politely excuse yourself. Or ask the person to not engage in such idle talk. It’s true that doing so can make you very unpopular but it will also speak volumes about your professionalism and personality. And most importantly, by doing so, you are stopping a rumour from spreading.

4. Seek the help of the HR

If you believe that you are surrounded by colleagues who engage in idle talks and this habit is affecting your performance, you can seek intervention from a third person, which in most cases is a representative of the HR department. You can share how such reckless behaviour affects the workplace culture and is not only harmful for the victim but is very detrimental for others as well. The HR professional definitely cannot take any official action against it (hello! no one can trace how a rumour originated or a gossip started, right?) but they can surely help you to handle the situation better.