Workplace gossip is something that is common in some work environments; colleagues gathering together to have a chit-chat about another colleague who isn’t present at the time of that discussion.
You tell a co-worker something in confidence before the day is over, almost everyone knows about it. It can be extremely painful to find out your colleagues are talking about you in your absence. But worse, it can severely damage your reputation and career.
Below are five tips on how to avoid becoming the focus of workplace gossip:
1. Don’t Share Personal Information
What happens when you share too much information with your co-workers? Everyone will know things about you that you may prefer they didn’t. Be careful about openly discussing family problems, marital issues, details about your love life, or financial difficulties. You’re just giving the gossips a lot of material to use against you if they choose. While It would be hard to survive at work without friends, a secret, once shared, is no longer a secret. Also, think twice, before sharing personal information with your superiors or subordinates because it can affect your professional relationship with them.
2. Be careful with office romance
Office romance puts you at risk of becoming the subject of workplace gossip. In this case, you won’t even have to share personal information with your co-workers. They will be able to witness it live and in person. You and your partner will be the stars of your workplace’s reality show.
Keeping the relationship a secret is possible. However, it’s difficult, especially if you and your co-worker are on the same team. If it’s already too late, at least be discreet when dating a co-worker. Don’t flaunt your relationship in front of your colleagues. Refrain from public displays of affection or arguing in front of everyone.
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3. Keep Your Temper in Check
For some people, there is nothing quite as entertaining as watching someone lose their temper. Your colleagues will excitedly watch your face contort in anger, your hands shake, and profanities pour out of your mouth. Then they will spend the ensuing days whispering about your outburst as they wait for the next one.
When something at work upsets you, take a moment to cool down before you address it. If you don’t think you can speak without yelling or cursing, then don’t. Wait until you are calm and to express your thoughts. Do your own part to avoid contributing to office gossip, too. If one person is the subject of your anger, then talk to them about it. Don’t discuss it with others.
4. Watch what you wear to work
Whether it’s right or wrong, people love to gossip about appearances. Show up for work, even once, dressed as if you were going out to a club and your colleagues may be talking about it forever. This is enough reason to be careful about how you dress. Always wear clothing that’s appropriate for work.
Clothing makes an impression, and once the gossips assume something about you based on what you are wearing, they’ll hold onto it until they do what they can to ruin your reputation. Don’t give them ammunition to accomplish that.
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