advice boundaries people workplace Apr 18, 2023

Over the years, I’ve heard plenty of gossip about other people when I’m working with organisations and clients.

When I say gossip, I'm talking about unfounded, unsubstantiated, third hand, fourth hand claims about individuals, about things that individuals might have done, about things that individuals might not have done, about actions they may have taken, about actions they may not have taken. 

Gossip can be about a range of different things. 

Good workplace relationships are critical, and can be damaged very quickly by someone gossiping about something behind someone else’s back.

How do you know if you're gossiping or just sharing information?

The easiest way to determine if you’re gossiping or not is to consider whether you would be saying the same thing about that individual if they were standing right in front of you.

If the answer is yes, then what you're saying is likely not to be gossip. 

If the answer is no, then you're absolutely gossiping. 

Charge yourself with making sure that you are not gossiping about another person. That you’re not harming their reputation by spreading rumours about what they may or may not have done. 

Gossip can ruin relationships and can ruin people’s careers.

Hold your bar high. 

Look at your interactions from the point of view of, “Are there conversations, frank, honest ones that I need to have with people? Am I speaking behind other people's backs?”

If so, you can change that today.

If gossip is a problem in your workplace culture, talk to us about workshops and training that can help.