In every office there is always either one person or a group of people who provide the daily scoop of office gossip. Although everyone at one time or another has participated in this grapevine of office politics, it can be very dangerous ground. When information is being spread from one corner of an office to another usually by the end it is stripped of almost all truth. In the process, damage can be done to not only the person of whom the gossip is about, but also to others who may get caught in the crossfire. When rumors are abound what can be done to reduce the collateral damage?
If the gossip is damaging to another person and it seems to be out of control it may be necessary to address the source of the gossip. If it is so widespread no one person can be determined as the source, management should decide on a method to best address the issue without causing further damage to the gossip’s subjects. There is no specific remedy for alleviating office gossip as the topics range from who is sleeping around to what business decisions are being made by management that are supposed to be confidential. Some situations may require simple consultations while others could even result in an employee’s termination if they are leaking confidential information.
As an employee who walks into the middle of a situation where gossip is being spread some courses of action can be taken. The simplest solution is to simply walk away. If you just stay away from the gossip you will reduce your chances of getting caught in the tangled web of office rumors. If you cannot get out of the situation try not to take sides and keep in mind the information may not be correct. Management or your human resources department should be alerted to any harmful gossip circulating so they can try to protect the individuals involved.