Sunday, December 17

How to Cope With The Office Gossip

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It is often said that we live in two separate worlds: home and work. Gossiping can be part and parcel of both worlds-especially if problems come out in the open, or can be very apparent. If one is the victim of gossip, this doesn’t mean running around to everybody in the office and doing damage control. It can be very hurtful and painful to have co-workers, whom you may or may not know very well, hiding in dark corners and uttering the latest juice on you. Worse yet, they can be texting each other, sniping at you from a covert distance. Effectively, you would never know until it was far too late.

Once one finds out about the gossip, what does the victim do? Trying to address it may reinforce the negative belief in the gossiping mind and perpetuate it. Ignoring it can also mean your reputation can suffer damage. If it is an office romance that you are involved in, the gossip may burn like an incendiary for awhile, then fizzle out. Leaving it alone may also give nobody any additional fuel to keep it going, and the latest topic of interest may invariably push it out the door. However, the gossip can go straight to the bosses, who may pose some very hard questions to you and your office romantic interest. This may lead to career-threatening words and phrases from the bosses.

A carefully phrased explanation may be necessary to avoid a dismissal of the both of you. Therefore, coping with the office gossip, can mean being like a spin doctor and explaining things to bosses, carefully and slowly, so nothing is misunderstood. However, if you are perpetuating idle gossip against a co-worker, also realize that it can come back and bite you just as hard. For if your gossip is maligning somebody falsely, it may also be perceived as harassment. Many companies are adopting a zero-tolerance policy towards harassment, and gossip can also be perceived as such-especially if it is spiteful and very derogatory. So, if you are doing that, be careful about your intentions. Also, by gossiping-you may be victimized as well. Speak out enough in that way, and all your failings and problems may come out one way or another, forcing you into damage control mode.

 

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