Magazine article Black Enterprise

He Said, She Said: Stay Clear of Gossip in the Workplace with a Mature Attitude

Magazine article Black Enterprise

He Said, She Said: Stay Clear of Gossip in the Workplace with a Mature Attitude

Article excerpt

As employees strive to achieve a healthy work-life balance by curtailing bad habits such as junk food, alcohol, or nicotine, one impulse that often falls under the radar, yet can be just as addictive and cancerous, goes unaddressed: gossiping.

[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED]

"Gossip is truly meant to discourage and condemn another," says Pat Thomas, executive coach with The McNeill Group and founder of the East Elmhurst, New York-based THOMAS Coaching Co. Inc. who defines workplace gossip as real or fictitious criticism. "And it's often caused by jealousy and insecurities on the part of the persons initiating it." According to Thomas, having a reputation as a gossiper can ruin the viability of an employee. "I've seen situations where gossiping has damaged the long-term contributions of an individual and overshadowed that person's appeal as a candidate for future advancement," she adds.

Avoiding gossip is a good practice, says Doreen Wilburn-Smith, the New York-New Jersey regional director for INROADS, a nonprofit organization that trains talented minority students for professional careers in business and industry. "When we teach our interns about proper workplace etiquette," continues Wilburn-Smith, "we advise against gossip because, quite simply, it's career suicide. You never know who is listening."

Although negative gossiping is easily recognizable, employees may have difficulty identifying the difference between innocent office chat and gossip. Toya Beasley, programming manager and on-air radio personality for WRKS in New York City, says she defines her own boundaries and suggests others do the same. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.