Posted on September 15, 2023 · Posted in Blog, General, Memo Plus Gold, Personal

Everyone loves a piece of juicy gossip. Men, women and maybe even the animals! There is something addictive about gossip. Polite society deems it a sleazy and low class but there is no denying that it is fun. Everyone gossips, whether it is about a big celebrity, your next-door neighbour or your colleague in the cubicle three rows over.

Gossip can be positive and help bring colleagues closer together. Taking a few minutes to discuss a favourite television show, movie or book is a great way to relieve some stress. An added bonus is that you learn more about the interests of your colleagues.

Then there is negative gossip, the kind that can be harmful and downright malicious. This sort of gossip serves no purpose other than humiliating, bad mouthing or tarnishing the reputation of another person. These are the types of conversations that give gossip a bad name.

So what can you do? You would not eliminate gossip outright, especially at work. Sometimes it can be the fastest way to share information. In your past work experience, news came out through gossip far sooner than the official company announcements.  We would always have a good chuckle when we would get called into a big meeting so that we could be told about something we had known about for weeks.

You should try not to gossip too much. The last thing you need is to be known as the office gossip king or queen.

People who gossip all the time are not doing themselves any favours. While it is nice to feel needed or to be the go-to person, we should always strive to be that person in our professional tasks.  People who are known to be frequent gossipers often get slapped with the labels of untrustworthy and insecurity.

Why would you trust someone with a sensitive work project, when they just blabbed someone else’s secrets to you with reckless abandon? The word around the office is that if you want to share information with a large group of people, all you needed to do is to get a “megaphone”.

Another tip is when participating in office gossip, try to be nice. Avoid topics that involve personal matters i.e. people’s health, marriage or their sex life. These are truly personal matters and, in all honesty, they are nobody’s business but theirs.

When overhearing gossip, use some critical thinking. Just because someone tells you something, does not make it true.  Ask some basic questions about the story you are being told. If the answers do not jive, then it is fair to assume that you are not getting the whole story.

Try not to get sucked into a drama. Sometimes you can change the subject and get people to talk about something else.

One of the best ways to avoid gossip is simple. Just do not participate. Just let people know that you would rather talk about something else. The word of advice is to be cool about it; nobody wants to listen to some preachy sanctimonious diatribe about the evils of gossip. We are all adults and if you do not want to do something, you do not have to. On the other hand, making people feel like you are judging them or that their behaviour is beneath you, would not win you any friends at work, either.

In the past, you may have worked for many different companies. Each one seems to handle gossip differently. Some workplaces have zero tolerance for it, while others allow it in moderation. Whether you have something in writing or an open policy on the subject, gossip will never go away. This means of communication and dissemination of information is as old as time. Technology has made it easier for us to share things but the message is still the same.

When in doubt follow the golden rule. Treat people the way you want to be treated. If you do not want people gossiping about you, then do not gossip about them!

As usual, we remind you to take your Memo Plus Gold daily. It will help to keep you alert and mentally sharp.

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