Rumors in the Workplace

Managing and Preventing Them

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4FR

Rumors. If you haven't been a victim of one, you may have participated in one.

The whispers when a colleague is fired. The looks of understanding when two co-workers routinely "stay late to catch up on paperwork" on the same evening. The emails back and forth guessing at which department will suffer the largest budget cuts.

It's difficult not to become involved in gossip at work. After all, people like gossip and interesting bits of information: you only have to look at the number of celebrity-focused publications to realize that we have a huge appetite for discussing other people's lives. At work, however, this type of interaction is harmful and costly. It wastes time, damages reputations, promotes divisiveness, creates anxiety, and destroys morale.

So why do people start and spread rumors? Much of it has to do with our need to ...

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