Let’s face it. Gossip in business is unavoidable… It’s like weeds, tricky to control… and it never disappears.

If it’s inevitable, and it is, what can you do to mitigate the impact it has on you?

Handle It Tip #1. Gossip Directed At You. You must deal with it because of its pervasive nature. Understand the smoke of gossip can turn into a career fire that burns you up. The truth is you may have to stand up to someone. Hear me, BUT only in a spirit of calmness, understanding, and respect. Don’t get mired in a continuous dialogue that may be precisely what your attacker hopes will occur. You can’t permit them to throw you off-balance.

When I’m going through tough times, I always say to myself: “Who do I want to be today that will create the Nancy of the future.” Remember, your actions, thoughts, and behaviors right now form the foundation of your tomorrow. It’s by working within this tension that you create success for yourself.

And please don’t respond to gossip in silence. Bullies count on the silence of good people to get away with belittling others. Healthy work environments expect you to stand up with an attitude of goodwill to become part of the solution.

Handle It Tip #2. Someone Is Spreading Gossip. Remember, there is no such thing as a passive listener where gossip is involved. When you say nothing, there’s a good chance the gossiper will think you agree with them.

What can you do when faced with negative remarks? Even if you agree, a change of focus is required. Instead of pointing out all that’s wrong, take on a leadership mindset, and pay attention to the admirable in them. Or discuss how the employee is adding value to the company. There is always something. You must care enough to search.

Go for the facts as though you are a seasoned detective searching for the truth in a case. There’s a lot of misinformation out there. Who passed on this tidbit of intelligence? What was explicitly shared? How reliable is your source?

You never want to be the person passing along negative and incorrect communique. Please, please, please don’t give in to talking with others about unsubstantiated, adverse grapevine chatter in the office.

You don’t want to be caught up in unconstructive, spiraling down rants regarding your peers, bosses, or company.

Hopping on to that bandwagon, though popular, isn’t good for you, and it will not add one single bit of career boost to your reputation. The reality is that you want to be known as an Executive who demonstrates leadership in every position you hold. Your job is to create robust relationships in the organization that support your career growth, not be at the center of any harmful office grapevine.

Handle It Tip #3. Harmful To The Company. Unfavorable gossip creates poor productivity in an organization. Why? Because this kind of harmful work environment fuels disengaged employees. Because injurious gossip that is pervasive can, and often does, erode employee safety and morale. Because damaging gossip in the office is often the source of distrust between fellow employees and the organization.  Because people don’t like working in such a disruptive and problematic environment, they leave. Think about all these because-ess.

Do any of them add value to the company’s environment, future profitability, or even your career? No!

If that isn’t enough ammunition for you to want to be out of the sphere of negative Office Gossip and join the crowd focused on enhancing cultural exchanges, I don’t know what I can say that will make a difference to you.

How you handle gossip is an essential topic to your continued career success.

What attitude shifts are you planning to initiate in how you look at Office Gossip moving forward? What will you do differently to become a proactive, ethical player in your company?


If you’re hoping your career will be more satisfying, make the decision to join the Thrive@Work Mastermind program. It’s a monthly community of other like-minded professional women committed to growing and learning. CLICK HERE 

Or perhaps you’re looking for a one-on-one approach to gain YOUR STRATEGIC EDGE? I am an Executive Coach for women who want more influence, balance, and success in their career–not someday–right now! Check out how we can work together through a FREE session with me. You couldn’t be in better hands.

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No matter what you think about Office Gossip, you can’t ignore it. If you attempt to, you lose a huge opportunity to demonstrate leadership and your ability to influence others—a definite must for your career advancement.

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