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Office Gossip: Can It Be A Good Thing?

Office Gossip: Can It Be A Good Thing?

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Gossip carries a negative connotation – but not all gossip is bad. Studies have shown that there are a few benefits that come from office gossip.

For instance, it can encourage camaraderie. It can even be therapeutic for some. No one wants to be the subject of negative gossip – especially when it comes to how they do their job.  This can act as a way to curtail underperformance.

Of course, in order to reap the benefits from partaking in gossip, you have to tread lightly. If gossip is left unhindered, it can spread and burn a hole in some of the major relationships you have at work.

“Left unchecked, gossip can wreak havoc on company morale and efficiency,” says Beth Weissenberger, CEO and co-Founder of the Handel Group in a column for BusinessWeek. “It breeds resentment and becomes a roadblock to effective communication and collaboration.”

So, you really have to walk the line when it comes to office gossip. Remember:

Trash Talking Is For Saps

The problem with talking badly about someone else is that you lose a little bit of credibility yourself in the long run. Sure, your fellow gossiper might nod along and even agree with your trash talk – but, in his eyes, you’ve become just a little less trustworthy. After all, who knows what you might say about him!

‘Prosocial’ Gossip Holds People Accountable

One study by the University of Amsterdam found that up to nine out of 10 conversations is gossip, but it’s not necessarily harmful. In some instances, gossip can be a way to help the good of the larger group because it can hold people accountable. This is called “prosocial” gossip.

These are just a couple rules of engagement when it comes to office gossip. Read the full article for the complete guide!

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