“Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is useful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen.”
– Ephesians 4:29
Avoiding gossip eliminates gossip. Socializing in the workplace should not be discouraged! In fact, it says a lot about the nature of the employees. To be warm, inviting, and interested in socializing is great for morale. However, some people become too relaxed in a social environment, and start to take their frustrations out on others – even if they don’t realize it. To vent is one thing, but to invent or create something negative out of nothing, is entirely different. You definitely don’t want to work with people you can’t fully trust.
Gossip can begin in several ways without noticing it at first. Sometimes it comes from comparing oneself to another. This is very common in the workplace since many people have the same roles, work ethics, and work in close quarters. Now and again, we catch ourselves projecting feelings onto one another; saying someone is rude when we are rude ourselves, or that someone is falling behind when we know we are also struggling. Sometimes, people gossip out of boredom to keep themselves entertained. These little lies pile up when you start making it a part of your everyday small talk. How someone speaks shows their character, and how you react is your power.
Be a witness, not a judge. You should not say whatever that person wants to hear. You also should not intentionally tell that person what they don’t want to hear. This is because it is important that they hear themselves. Until a person catches themselves wasting precious time telling stories of other people, they won’t acknowledge the real issue. If it is not necessary to say, it is necessary not to say. Creating bad blood is needless tension for collaborating and our work’s productivity. Speaking and listening to gossip takes away our focus meant for our immediate attention and future goals. It is stressful to not only try and stay quiet about something ugly you heard, but even more stressful when you hear things said about yourself. Everyone should feel a fair ground of understanding that there is a line between our professional and personal lives. Be so diligent toward your work that no one even approaches you with their gossip anymore. Be so involved with goals that it becomes crystal clear there is no room for spreading rumors, bad-mouthing others, or anything else to tear down the trust between the team.
“Don’t become bitter. Become better!”