Don't Be a Gossip Girl (or Guy)
Gossip should have no space in your workplace
By Carla Brink, CLAC Representative
We can all think of some examples when we said or wrote something before thinking it through and immediately regretted it. Maybe someone’s feelings were hurt, or we blurted something out in an emotional situation, or what we said was misunderstood. Sometimes we just want to get our thoughts out and don’t think about how they will be perceived. Although the reasons and consequences are varied, we would all do well to adhere a bit more to the old adage, “think before you speak.”
This is particularly true when it comes to workplace gossip. Unless you’re a cast member on Real Housewives, it’s not your job to gossip about your coworkers and employer. As most of us have seen both on reality TV and in the real world, gossip usually starts as a passing comment or cutting remark about someone else. But soon, the statements perpetuate into something bigger that can create a toxic situation. Eventually, one or more individuals feel the need to tell someone else what was said about them, often missing some of the context and intent, and the gossip explodes into a shouting match, silent treatment, or long periods of anger and hurt.
As entertaining as it may be on TV (where we know the situations are somewhat contrived), gossip should not be entertained in our workplaces. If you find yourself in a situation where you witness or are tempted to take part in workplace gossip, take a step back and ask yourself: What am I trying to achieve here? Will this conversation hurt the individual(s) if they find out about it? Most important, is what I’m about to say helpful?
If not, think twice about saying it. You won’t regret it.
Before gossiping, THINK:
T – is it True?
H – is it Helpful?
I – is it Inspiring?
N – is it Necessary?
K – is it Kind?