Office Gossip Girl

It’s 11 a.m. – coffee time. As you fill your cup, you see her: the break room gossip, slowing stirring some creamer into her mug. You know you should scurry back to work, but can’t help being intrigued when she says, “So, did you hear what (insert office wild-child here) did last night?”

Eighty-four percent of executives cited gossip as a common activity at their offices, according to a recent survey. Furthermore, 64 percent of those executives agree that it has a negative effect on the workplace.

“I don’t think there is anything more poisonous to a work culture than gossip,” says Beth Leone Noble, a partner at the Raleigh law firm Leone Noble & Seate. “Bottom line: you cannot tolerate it and the minute it rears its ugly head, you have to be prepared to stop it, even if it means letting an otherwise valuable employee go.”

There’s a fine line between casual banter and harmful rumors. Whether the gossip comes to you from a friend or seeps out of your own mouth, avoid it altogether by asking yourself whether or not the practice actually benefits anyone else, suggest the consultants at Business Training Works.

Bosses who create supportive work environments – those centered on teamwork – take vital steps to eliminate gossip.

Some firms go so far as to officially ban gossip amongst employees. To adopt such a policy, all workers can enforce proactive communication strategies based on personality assessments.

Bonus PINK Link: Find out how one boss ensures cattiness will never plague her business again.

By Jennifer Gambrell

“Some say baseball is our national pastime. Not me. It’s gossip.” Erma Bombeck

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