Written by Stan Popovich
Do you work with people who like to gossip? It can be difficult to get your work done when your coworkers talk about other people.
Here are 13 suggestions on how to do your job and handle gossip in the workplace!
Focus On Your Job: Your No. 1 priority is to perform your job responsibilities the best you can. Don’t worry about what your coworkers are doing at your place of employment. Make sure that you are able to do your job effectively and that your boss is happy with your work. This should be your only concern when it comes to your job.
Remain Neutral: When hanging out with your coworkers, don’t contribute to the office gossip. The chances are you will only make somebody mad. Do not talk about people behind their back. If someone asks you for your opinion just say something that won’t offend anyone in the office.
Hang Out With The Right People: Try to avoid those coworkers who do like to gossip in the office. Your best bet is to spend your time with those who tend to mind their own business. Play it safe and try to keep a distance from those people who like to talk about other people.
Don’t Complain: If you have a problem, do not talk about it to your coworkers. Discuss your issues with your manager or with human resources. The last thing you want is to have the whole office know about your work issues. It is best not to share your opinions or problems with the office staff
Go With The Flow: Sometimes it can be difficult to avoid the gossip in your office. At times, go with the flow and do not say anything that will add fuel to the fire. Keep your thoughts to yourself. However, sometimes it’s best to let the gossip take its course. Eventually, the topic of conversation will change in a few days and somebody else will talk about something else.
Be Patient: Sooner or later, someone in the office will talk about you. It is impossible to prevent people from talking about you. When someone talks about you, its best to smile and remain professional. Let the topic of conversation take its course without getting angry and upset. Unfortunately gossip is very common when you work with other people.
Be Honest: If people start asking you questions on certain issues, it is best to be honest and explain yourself in a professional manner. Make sure that the truth comes out and to address certain rumors that are inaccurate. It is important to always be honest and do not make things worse. Do not get upset when addressing your coworkers on certain issues.
Laugh It Off: Don’t get angry when someone makes up something about you. Instead of getting angry, learn to laugh it off. Do not let your coworkers know that they have upset you. If your peers see that you just laugh it off when someone talks about you, chances are they will leave you alone in the future.
Show Confidence: It is vital that you show confidence when you’re at your job. The chances that people will talk about you decreases when you project strength and confidence. Dress and act professionally and stand tall. Do the best job you can and don’t take short cuts. Don’t do anything that will bring attention to yourself.
Be Careful Outside Of The Office: Many of your coworkers may get together after work. Happy Hour is very common after your shift is over. If you decide to participate, watch what you say and don’t drink too much. Alcohol can make things worse. The rule of thumb is to act like you were still at work. Be professional, courteous and polite in addressing your coworkers and their friends outside of the work place.
Don’t Give Into Temptation: If somebody challenges you into doing something you don’t want to do, your best is to politely decline and walk away. Don’t let your ego take over when someone challenges you into doing something. It’s better to be safe than sorry. Your job is more important than trying to make a statement to a certain coworker.
Have A Back Up Plan: It’s important to have a back up plan if something would go wrong in your office in terms of gossip. If the situation is not manageable you may need to change departments or your job. The key is have some kind of plan if people in your office get on your case. Give it a few weeks and if things do not get any better you might need to consider changing departments. If things still don’t improve you might need to change jobs.
Seek Assistance: If you are having trouble doing your job, then talk to a professional who can give you additional advice on how to handle the situation. There are many counselors and support groups that can give you advice on how to handle the gossip in your office. Most importantly, don’t let anyone know that you are seeking assistance.
Stan Popovich is the author of “A Layman’s Guide to Managing Fear Using Psychology, Christianity and Non Resistant Methods.” For more info, go to Stan’s website at managingfear.com.