I want to begin with a question. How does gossip in the workplace start? One never knows who to trust and whom to confide in, in a work environment. On a personal note? My rule is to avoid becoming part of a Telenovela. It does not matter the length of time at your job; it is all the same. Gossip is gossip! Honestly, I have been pulled into the web of gossip, and I am here to say that it does not end well.
I want to list a few things to keep as a reminder of what not to do.
1. Avoid Venting: The chances are that you will become peeved at something at one time or another. The automatic response is to unleash your frustration to a co-worker, not realizing that it can be used against you or taken out of context or worse. If you don’t want your personal stuff to circulate in the office, keep it to yourself.
2. Avoid Triggers: Many times, someone will tell you. “I am going to tell something, but you can not repeat it.” That is your cue to pivot to something else. Chances are you don’t need to know whatever they want to tell you. Use the following mantra, “it is not their story to tell or yours!” This will not happen overnight. It takes practice over time.
3. Don’t get sucked in: Don’t let the audience be you. You don’t have to be rude; gently excuse yourself or say you have a time-sensitive work assignment.
4. Trust: If someone entrusts something in confidence. Don’t repeat it. Keep it in a mental safe deposit box in your head. It is not an easy task to do but with time; you can master the skill and avoid being part of a Telenovela.