How to Prevent Workplace Rumors

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Rumors can be the most dangerous and damaging form of communication that we encounter. It's difficult to know how to deal with these issues, as rumors aren't exactly fact, and there isn't any degree of control over how the story will mutate.

Language is the primary means of precise communication. When asked to provide three examples of the consequences of language in an interpersonal relationship, the workplace is foremost in my thoughts. We spend so much of our time at the workplace, I work in a communications intense environment,and certainly because the consequences of language are rapidly apparent at work.

Interpersonal rumors are the hardest to stop. No matter how closely a team works together, you will often find one or two members who simply thrive on discord. Creating an atmosphere of integrity and personal responsibility will go a long way to stamping out interpersonal rumors.

Holding people accountable for their actions while letting employees know that you have a zero-tolerance policy towards gossiping will also help. Bear in mind, that enforcing this policy evenly and fairly is the key to providing your workers with a harmonious atmosphere. This won't stop the gossiping entirely but it will help build trust among your employees.

Putting a stop to a gossip starts with you. If someone comes to you with a juicy story about Jane or wants to tell you some odd little tidbit about the president of the company, close your ears to it. Letting them know from the start that you don't want anything to do with gossip can work wonders in getting the mouths to shut. Usually, it's enough for them to at least leave you alone even if they move on to the next person.

If you find you have fallen into the gossip trap and you want out, go on a fact finding mission. Don't take anything at face value. If you find out that the gossip is true, you will have learned something. Nine times out of ten, gossip isn't fact based. It is often completely untrue. Sometimes it's partially true. On rare occasion, it will be completely true. I only suggest you go on this fact finding mission if it affects you. Honestly, if Jane slept with her co-worker, that's her business, now isn't it. It has no affect on you and you should act accordingly.

A good rule of thumb- if you hear something about someone else at work, don't believe it. If you see something at work, don't form an opinion and tell someone else. If everyone adheres to these rules the rumors would quickly cease to exist.

Feroz Ahmed Bawany goal is to increase my knowledge and to understand the only civilized creations of Almighty Lord are HUMAN. He is a regular contributer to TRCB.com.

 

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