If you work with people, there is almost always going to be gossip and drama. Having a mix of different people means there will probably be conflict at some point, but how you choose to handle that conflict is up to you. Here are some ways in which to stay out of the workplace drama:
- Know Who to Trust. We all need to let off a little steam and vent every once in a while. Keeping your venting outside of work is the best way to avoid any drama, but if you need to talk to someone at work who understands, make sure you trust them 100%. Venting to the wrong person and start a rumor train that will be hard to escape.
- Learn to Steer Clear of Someone who wants to “Spill Gossip.” Your co-worker approaches you and says, “I want to tell you something, but you can’t tell anyone else,” this is your cue to avoid this conversation because just by listening, you are involved in gossip or hearsay.
- Don’t Repeat Sensitive Information. If you choose to be involved with listening to a co-worker’s gossip, do not repeat it. Repeating it makes you a link in the gossip, and it’s best to stop a rumor in its tracks. Don’t be part of the problem.
- Have an Escape Plan/Change the Subject. When you get stuck with someone spilling gossip with you, it can be hard to get out of it. Transitioning the conversation can be your best bet to get them discussing a different subject, but if you can’t do that, you need an escape plan. Escaping a conversation can be as easy as, “I don’t know. I’m sorry” or “I’m running late, I have to go,” any phrase that can help dismiss you from the conversation.
- Be Mature and Know When There is a Problem to Work Out. Gossip is usually about a problem, and sometimes a problem can be worked out if discussed in the right way. Be mature and don’t continue the gossip, but help find a solution to the problem instead.
Gossip can reduce productivity and put people in a negative space. Social parts of a business can be tricky at times, but if you focus on the positive and try to help, you will stay out of the drama.