I know this could be a touchy subject as people rely on gossip to release inner tension in a stressful toxic workplace.
However, if we're talking about building conscious businesses from the ground up, then the goal should be to create a company culture where workers don't need to resort to gossip to relieve stress.
There are healthier ways to deal with tension and conflict, rather than resorting to gossip.
Main reasons why gossiping exists:
Back in the old days—talking about the hunter gatherers era—we gossiped to protect ourselves as it aligned us with certain people.
2. Strengthen our identity
Our minds like us to feel special and we are better than others. It therefore creates separation, hence we feel good in the moment and later we feel a little lonely
When we don't want to think about our current stuff, or we’re not appreciating the moment.
Gossip is accepted and it can be entertaining. It’s found everywhere, in the media, magazines, and shows.
It starts from the top and trickles down.
We got compared when we were young and hence the gossiping started.
I remember there was a lot of gossiping in my banking days (my first job after uni). One would have to go have drinks (chug many pints of beer) after work and the majority of the convo was gossiping about others. I found it toxic as it basically separated us from being one team. Also if you didn't turn up for drinks, you would be talked about. Also people didn't want to admit it but a lot of the promotions were done through social connections. Unfortunately this gossiping attitude exists in all industries and it's important we shine a light on it so it can be fixed.
So here are 5 ways to reduce gossip:
Just notice it and try to avoid talking about it or change subjects.
2. Good things
If gossip is happening, say the good things about the person and make the convo positive.
If you're in the habit of gossiping, you need to look deeper in yourself about why it's happening. It's usually a calling for some love we are missing.
Make leadership aware if it's out of hand in your company. Your leaders should step in and help.
5. Change your work friends
It’s always tricky so try to give feedback or share this post. We all want to grow and evolve together.
Now if we do have legitimate issues with some people, we should try to have the hard conversations with the relevant person or seek help from the leader.
So, I know this is a touchy subject. However with the right steps and the right leaders, the toxicity of gossiping will disappear. Wishing you a joyful workplace 🙏🏼