If you, as a supervisor, are engaging in gossip, that’s a huge problem. After all, it’s your job to put an end to rumor mongering. If you don’t and instead choose to gossip, this is what you stand to lose:
• Trust. If you will bad-talk other employees or managers to your staff, they will believe that you will also talk about them behind their backs. They won’t feel safe confiding in you, even when they are dealing with real problems.
• Influence. You are supposed to be the law enforcer. If you engage in bad behavior in the office, employees won’t respect your authority on other issues.
• Solutions. If you are too busy gabbing about problems, you aren’t spending enough time solving them.
• Advancement opportunities. Your busybody nature won’t go unnoticed by the people with the power to promote you. With your tendency to gossip about everything and everyone, they will doubt your ability to keep a lid on confidential information and plans. As a result, you could be overlooked for promotions.
— Adapted from “View from HR: Avoid Workplace Gossip and Spend More Time on Ideas,” Bruce Clark, News and Observer, www.newsobserver.com.