Recently a client shared with me that she was sharing negative text messages about another employees work-behavior. On the surface, gossip seems like harmless fun. A way to vent a small frustration and relieve some work tension, and achieve catharsis.
Gossip, however, is culture. Gossip starts small and harmless and grows. We are all kind souls and never want to do any harm. Yet, all too often, I have witnessed gossip turn into outright bullying, at work, in fortune companies! Places with large H.R. departments dedicated to training and eliminating such behavior and still it happens.
There is nothing I can share in a post to stop gossiping. I will however, share what I do personally for my own benefit. My goal is to not say something about someone that I would not say to their face. In times when I have been pressed to make statements I feel may be gossip I follow up with the “victim” and share, with complete honestly, the conversation and give the person the opportunity to correct or defend.
Gossip is how bullying starts. Unfortunately, this is not something we can even see ourselves doing yet happens. And it could happen to you or someone you work with.