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Lose the office gossip rep

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in Career Management,Workplace Communication

Busted! Someone just caught you spreading rumors. The last thing you want is to be known as the office gossip because it casts a shadow on your professionalism and trustworthiness.

Bounce back and shed the gossip reputation with these steps:

Own it—and admit it was wrong. If you spread a rumor about someone, confess to that person directly and apologize. If you shared false information, set the record straight. Explain to your boss that you did gossip, but you realize your actions were unacceptable. You must gain people’s trust back, and excusing your behavior and pointing fingers won’t help you do that. You need to take full responsibility for your actions.

Make it clear that it won’t happen again. Explain to whoever is involved, and specifically your boss, that you will not gossip again. Your boss may be questioning your value, so you need to assure him or her that it won’t be an issue again.

Keep your promise. Even if you hear the juiciest bit of information, don’t share it with anyone. If other co-workers start gossiping, excuse yourself from the discussion. If you engage in even minor, seemingly harmless gossip, your reputation as a gossip will remain.

— Adapted from “How to Turn Around These Four Major Work Screw-Ups (Fast),” Rachel Bitte, Fast Company, www.fastcompany.com.

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