Three ways to deal with gossip at work: tips from a psychologist
No office does not do without talking about extraneous topics during the working day. Unfortunately, colleagues do not discuss culture and sports news, but most often each other. It may well be that behind your back, too, there are heated discussions. Why do gossip at work and what to do with them?
What is classified as gossip and what is not?
Do not confuse envious gossip with light banter – they are completely different things. To understand the difference, consider the following:
- Gossiping is referring to people in a favorable way. Someone who is talking about another person is not looking for an excuse to find flaws or punctures in the work, but is objectively giving out information directly related to the work.
Example: “Have you heard that Anna Vasilyevna is preparing a new project? She has been working on it all day.
- Gossip is the intentional drawing of the speaker’s attention to oneself. Thus, gossip includes intentional slander, discussion of personal problems of the person about whom the rumor is spread. An employee who relishes the details of someone else’s life, or who distorts the facts to the size of “from a fly to an elephant,” seeks to be in the spotlight and undermine the authority of the colleague about whom he spreads gossip.
Example: “You know that Luba from accounting comes into the supervisor’s office after work … and they have a long discussion about something there? It seems to me that she is trying to seduce him and steal him away from his wife.”
- False rumors-they are not as susceptible to criticism of the person being talked about, but they are more dangerous because they spread rapidly and resemble a game of “spoiled telephone. Often the spreaders of false rumors are tormented by the lack of reliable information and begin to construct their own versions of what is happening, supporting them only with their imagination.
Example: “Our Ivan Semenych seems to have a new mistress. I heard him talking to someone on the phone. There was a woman’s voice on the other end.
How do you know that there are gossipers in the team?
It is not difficult to figure out if there are gossipers in the team:
- your team is split into two camps. The first are happy to discuss the latest rumors and share their impressions of them. The second, on the contrary, does not want to support and participate in idle conversations;
- you have learned the details of your colleagues’ personal lives, their worries and fears, without noticing it yourself;
- you are trying not to devote colleagues in the details of their lives, but unfortunately, it turns out to be difficult.
Why do people spread rumors at work?
It’s very simple – the gossip behind the back is born of boredom, when there is no work or very little of it. People begin to share interesting stories from the lives of their acquaintances and colleagues.
Another reason for the birth of gossip is human envy. When one employee rolls like cheese in butter and everything goes quietly, okay. And another can not succeed in either work or personal life.
Willingly, the latter begins to focus efforts on how to undermine the reputation of his successful colleague. Read our article about envy at work.
CUTTING! Gossipers are people who suffer from a lack of attention. They have the desire, time and need to communicate with people, but, alas, they have nothing interesting to say about themselves. It is better to embellish the story of the life of a colleague, and if it is more disliked in the team, then success is guaranteed.
How to fight?
You can treat and communicate with gossipers in different ways. As the saying goes, all means are good in war, but we will consider the most effective.
Perhaps the most difficult way to interact with a whisperer. You can warn the person that false rumors sooner or later will turn against himself and can even lead to the loss of his job.
It is unlikely that the problem will be solved entirely. You will not be able to stop the gossip at work, but partially prevent unpleasant talk is still quite in your power. By the way, we have already written an article on how to calculate the rat in the team.
A popular way to deal with idle gossip is to withstand it without emotion. Pretend you’re not interested in dirty untrue stories. Make it clear that you are interested in work, not in what happens to your colleagues outside the office.
- Use gossip to your advantage
For example, the boss can discuss “secret” information with the most sociable employee. He will have time to bring the news to the team and discuss it, so that later employees do not perceive the changes at work “with hostility”.
Another option: teach gossipers to discuss topics of a positive nature: who went on vacation, who is going to play a wedding, who had a baby, a grandchild, etc. In this way you will stop the spreading of unpleasant rumors.
How to behave in order to protect yourself?
We suggest you read the psychologist’s tips that will help you not to suffer from gossipers at work:
- Treat the situation with humor – at any job is always everyone and everything is discussed;
- do not give your colleagues a reason to savor your personal life – discuss your problems and worries with a close and trustworthy friend who is not related to your work;
- If your person still gives your coworkers no peace, toss them a couple more burning issues to discuss and thank them for giving you their precious attention;
- Don’t let yourself be hurt – if gossip is being spread to destabilize you, be ready and able to fight back;
- Find out who is behind the dirty rumors.
You can benefit from any situation. If they talk about you, it means that people around you are interested in you, they envy you. Let them talk – be above it, do not pay attention and do not take it to heart.
Is there anything positive?
In fact, rumors can have both negative and positive effects on a person.
IMPORTANT: Psychologists believe that discussing rumors together helps to build team spirit and increase trust.
If you perceive gossip as a kind of entertainment, you can even get a charge of pleasant emotions. Have you ever noticed that those who have “secret” information willy-nilly find themselves in the center of attention?
Scientists and researchers at Stanford University believe that gossip reduces stress at work. They believe that if a person does not share the information he knows with others, he will experience anxiety and heart palpitations, and the level of stress hormones in general can go off the scale.
We recommend watching a video on how to properly respond to gossip in order to come out a winner:
Thus, gossip in the team can be useful, the main thing is to know the measure and avoid discussing personal topics or rumors that may be offensive to other colleagues and lead to forced termination.
How to deal with intrigue at work
Hello! In this article, we will talk about intrigue at work and what to do with intrigues, how to behave.
- What are intrigues?
- Who needs intrigues: the psychology of people
- How to protect yourself from intrigues at work
- How to behave with intrigues
- How to avoid intrigues: tips for managers
- Methods of combating intrigue
- My Best Friend
- I did not say that!
- Help a neighbor
- Someone spread a bad rumor
- Relax and have fun
What are intrigues?
Any team is a society of people with individual characteristics and different characters. Sometimes because of different views on life and on the work process and there is a misunderstanding between employees, after which they begin to weave intrigues.
Intrigue is a kind of covert warfare, which represents certain actions aimed at discrediting the other person and making him look bad in front of his superiors.
Intriguers use “dirty” methods to deal with an opponent. They disseminate untrue rumors, set up colleagues, slander, set the entire team against someone, etc.
Do not think that intrigue is a normal phenomenon. All these dishonest actions spoil the internal climate of the team, which entails a decrease in the level of efficiency, productivity, increased staff turnover.
Cold war in the team is possible only if the leadership encourages these actions. When the boss is interested in the quality of the work of his charges, he will nip in the bud all the disagreements and say goodbye to employees who weave intrigues.
Who needs intrigues: the psychology of people
Let’s say at once that people who are confident in themselves and their abilities will never stoop to weave intrigues.
Think about it, why would a successful person, who fully and completely gives himself to work and confidently goes to his goal to “set backs” colleagues. After all, he already takes everything he needs from life.
But people with low self-esteem, insecure, creatively unfulfilled individuals stoop to hidden war with colleagues who have done them little harm. And all just because they are more successful.
Nevertheless, intriguers are different and have different objectives. We have divided them into several groups.
- New employees . These are people who have just started to work, they want to get the location of the bosses and take their place in the team. They begin to be friendly to all colleagues, who in turn trust them and tell them many secrets. It is this information and “leaks” intrigue management, a good embellishment.
- The old-timers of the company. These employees are just jealous of more successful colleagues and want to harm their reputation in every way. They gain your favor, and then they distort the information received from you and pass it on to the heads and rank-and-file employees. Thus, they discredit you in the eyes of the whole team.
- Careerists . Such people want to climb the career ladder, but they do not have the strength to do it themselves. In this case, they begin to be friends with talented workers and as soon as they start to share production ideas, they steal them and present them to their superiors as their own.
How to protect yourself from intrigues at work
When you get a job, you can never know for sure whether or not there is intrigue floating around. Many people who find themselves in the “battlefield” are uncomfortable working in such an environment and decide to quit immediately.
If this option does not suit you, we suggest using some rules of protection against intrigue.
- Try to treat all your colleagues equally well. If you maintain a good relationship with as many people as possible, rest assured that you will be alerted to any negative remarks about you.
- Establish yourself as a competent professional and responsible performer. If your superiors will be on good account, the leadership will never believe the disseminated rumors.
- Do not share with all their successes. People, even the closest, envy other people’s achievements, and this leads to intrigue. Remember the expression “Happiness loves silence.
- Keep all fears and concerns to yourself. If they become public domain, you will be vulnerable, because it is a blow to the weak point.
- Show everyone that you are a well-mannered person who has his own dignity. Do not “lose face” even in situations where you compromise. After all, this is what the intriguer is trying to do.
- Try not to compromise yourself. Quality work, do not violate labor discipline and the offenders will not be caught up in it.
- Beware of people who strongly want to be your friend. More often than not, they are the ones who weave the intrigue. You will feel the heartache of disappointment when the pseudo-friend betrays you.
- Try to double-check all the information that reaches you and not let it spread further.
- Don’t let others manipulate you and don’t do a job for someone else. In the case of a successfully completed task, all the praise will go to someone, and if something goes wrong, you will be responsible. Read: How to refuse people: learning to say “no”.
- In case you are intentionally clinging to you, try to ignore this person, if you know how to answer nicely, so that the offender realized you know how to stand up for yourself, or just ask him not to do it anymore.
We have selected a few tips, using which the newcomers are likely to be able to avoid intrigue in the workplace.
- Try not to let employees get close to you. Be friends, but do not open up. By doing so you will protect your personal space.
- Learn as much as possible about the balance of power in the team and its hierarchy.
- Do not become a member of any groupings.
- When communicating with colleagues, listen more, but try to talk less. Your words and comments may be paraphrased.
- Do not judge your colleagues or consider yourself superior to anyone.
- If you see someone in an unfavorable light, at the very least do not comment on what someone has said. We recommend that you do not participate in the spreading of gossip and rumors.
- If you know who exactly is intriguing, try to keep a warm relationship with that person, but do not fawn over him.
How to behave with intrigues
There are situations in which intrigue begins to creep into a team with a favorable climate. This can happen for many reasons. Perhaps management has changed, or maybe a schemer has taken a job.
In any case, if you value your job, you’ll have to adapt and understand how to behave in different situations.
- Call things by their proper names and be straightforward about your desires.
- If you are developing creative ideas, do not tell anyone about your ideas. Your ideas and projects should be the first to see the leaders.
- If in your presence begin to discuss someone, ask not to do so, or move away from your desk. Especially do not participate in such a conversation.
- Always have your own opinion and remain neutral in relation to your colleagues.
- Don’t contribute to the spread of panic by passing on various rumors.
- Don’t get heated. Always think about what you are doing and allow yourself to cool down before writing your resignation letter.
- Try not to open up to coworkers or have confidential conversations.
- If you need to go away, don’t ask your coworkers to cover for you. It’s better to go straight to the boss.
- Don’t participate in drafting and signing collective letters, especially if they discredit the work of your superiors.
- Do not become involved in protests, boycotts and provocative rallies.
- Become a high performer who will be valued and respected.
- If you know that someone has a negative attitude and intrigue against you, try to get him to talk directly. In a private conversation you will find out the reason for the negative attitude towards you.
- If the conversation did not help, ask your boss for help. An adequate person and the head will solve the problem.
- Do not initiate “hostilities” in response to those already in place. No need to pay the schemer his own coin, be above it.
- In a controversial situation, act so that in the end the company wins, not the individual.
- Don’t live only by work. People who take everything from life do not pay attention to any intrigues. For them, work is a way to earn money for family, travel, and a comfortable existence.
How to avoid intrigues: tips for managers
Intrigue most often accrue well in teams where creative people work, or where the vast majority of workers – women. It is these people are easiest to remove the emotional balance.
Men are more resistant to all kinds of conflicts and are less amenable to provocation.
But still, a good atmosphere within the team in many respects depends on the actions of the head. A good boss should learn the psychology of people and be guided by his knowledge. We have selected some effective tips to help in the fight against intrigues.
- Congratulate all your employees on public holidays. Don’t forget birthdays, but don’t single anyone out.
- Organize your workflow so that your charges have no time for idleness. Intrigue takes root where people have enough free time to do so.
- Don’t let your subordinates get too close to you. Treat everyone well, but don’t be friends with people whose boss you are.
- Resolve problems as they arise. Discuss any misunderstandings before they turn into conflicts.
- Block access to social media in the workplace. It is through these sites that rumors and gossip quickly spread.
Methods of combating intrigue
In order to understand how to counteract intrigue, you need to be able to recognize it. We will now tell you about the most common techniques and teach you how to counteract provocations.
My Best Friend
With you starts a friendship schemer, you share with her the most intimate and the information that could compromise you. After that, the data she received can twist and turn against you.
What to do? Do not make close acquaintances at work, do not talk about your personal life. It is clear that you won’t be able to talk about anything at all. But if those around you find out about your preferences (favorite movie genre, musical direction, idols, etc.) it will not compromise you in any way.
I did not say that!
Often intrigue is built on gossip and gossip. More often than not, it is inverted information that you have shared with a “close” person.
What to do. Try to bring the schemer into a frank conversation and find out what she is trying to achieve. If this does not bring the desired result, try not to compromise yourself in the future, and ignore the colleague.
Help a neighbor
You are asked to help do some work that is not part of your responsibilities. If you fail the task, you will be thumbed and told that you are a failure, thereby lowering your self-esteem. If you succeed, the laurels of fame will go to the schemer.
What to do? You need to know and understand what you should and should not do. Study your job description, and don’t do the work that others are supposed to do.
Someone spread a bad rumor
You are informed that there are “dirty” rumors or gossip. You become nervous, behave inadequately, look suspiciously at everyone, begin to quietly hate the entire team and dream of quitting.
What to do? Try to cool down and pull yourself together. And better yet, together with your colleagues, laugh at the rumors and turn them into jokes.
The intrigue decides to blackmail you and threatens to tell something to all colleagues. In this case you yourself are guilty, because you have discredited yourself and told the intrigant about your failures.
What to do? You are in a very difficult situation, where it makes no sense to indulge the blackmailer. Try to find dirt on the schemer and play his game. The second option is to change jobs.
Relax and have fun
One of the employees says that you are very worried about the quality and timing of your assignment. He suggests you relax, because everything is under the control of more than one professional. You believe him and let everything go on its own, which negatively affects the end result.
What to do? Qualitatively do your job and do not trust those around you.