Office Gossip: How to Survive and Thrive

Working in some office environments is similar to reality TV, where participants are pitted against each other for survival of the cunning.

If you work in an organizational culture where gossip and rumors run rampant, how can you navigate your way through it and thrive?

In one sense, gossip is a natural human endeavor because it plays into our desire to belong to a group with similar interests and share stories. That’s the good side…and it’s rarely—if ever—as simple as that.

The dark side of gossip involves the seductive power of negative news, especially tempting when it involves people we know. It’s like a train wreck: We’re unable to avert our eyes, knowing full well that we’ll be forever changed if we continue to stare at it.

We’re curious to know the gory details about others—an inclination that helps us discern friend versus foe in the workplace. But gossipers have personal agendas, and they rarely adhere to facts. Instead, they seek to influence us by delivering biased and often false messages.

Once their words are unleashed, it’s difficult to “un-ring the bell,” especially if you haven’t had time to confront the reality, facts or person. Meanwhile, an individual’s reputation has been tainted—perhaps permanently.

Unless you’re careful, you can turn into one five types of gossipers.


This is a brief synopsis of a 1000-word article suitable for coach newsletters. It is available for purchase with full reprint rights, which means you may put your name on it and use it in your newsletters, blogs or other marketing materials. You may also modify it and add your personal experiences and perspectives.

The complete 1,000 word article includes these five types of gossipers and important concepts tips for handling each situation.

  • The Newbie
  • The Stick-in-the-Mud
  • The Sponge
  • The Gossiper-in-Training
  • The Neutralizer

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Office Gossip: How to Survive and Thrive

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