101 Ways to Make Yourself Indispensable at Work: Don’t Gossip or Spread Rumors

The word gossip means idle chat and hearsay. That unflattering definition should be enough to convince you not to participate in gossip. Negative talk about supervisors, coworkers, and customers creates a
cynical, distrustful work environment, not to mention the effect it has on productivity. If you are standing around gossiping with coworkers, none of you is doing the job you are being paid to do.

Whether the gossip is true or not is inconsequential. It is unethical and unreliable; professionals should avoid it. Refrain from starting, spreading, or listening to gossip from any source. If others try to engage you in gossip sessions, remove yourself from the situations so that you are not tempted to join in or add to the tales.

People who gossip may have one of several ulterior motives. The gossip could be steeped in retaliation, be a reaction to a negative situation, be a ploy to gain popularity, or be the result of a personality
conflict or boredom. Gossipers might genuinely intend to inflict hurt and damage by pitting people against each other, or they may wind up being the unwitting pawns of others. And if people are gossiping
with you, they are just as likely to gossip about you to others.

Rumors belong in the same category as gossip. Rumors that cause turmoil and hurt feelings often turn out to be false. You may want to believe a rumor told to you by a trusted friend, but unless the information
comes from a reputable source, such as management or the owner, it remains just a rumor. Do not put a lot of faith into it or pass it along to someone else.

Whether based on fact or not, it is never acceptable to add fuel to the fires of rumors by repeating them. In fact, people may believe the person spreading the rumor initiated it. Rumormongers gain a reputation for unethical behavior, causing others to mistrust and avoid them. They may lose integrity, friends, and even their jobs.

A word of caution: If you are not willing to make your comment in public, knowing your boss could hear about it, keep it to yourself. People with integrity are willing and able to stand by their words and
actions.

In today’s negative economy, it is smart to avoid passing on doom and gloom gossip. Economic and job market realities are negative enough right now. It is senseless to magnify these problems with conjecture
and rumors that will cause morale to plunge.

101 Ways to Make Yourself Indispensable at Work. 101 Ways to Make Yourself Indispensable at Work, ISBN: 9781435454323
Prepared for jhale@cba.ua.edu, Joanne Hale
© 2011 Safari Books Online, LLC. This download file is made available for personal use only and is subject to the Terms of Service. Any other use requires prior written consent from the
copyright owner. Unauthorized use, reproduction and/or distribution are strictly prohibited and violate applicable laws. All rights reserved.

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