Most likely you’ve come across an office gossip or two at your company if you have been in the working industry. Whether you have crossed paths with an office drama queen or had a bit of exchange with the HR, I know you can think of any time when a co-worker’s business was the topic of conversation.
The eight hours most of us spend at work every day are enjoyable when we work with individuals we like and enjoy conversing with them especially about non-work related topics. There are several aspects of work that can be tiring. People hate Mondays for many reasons. That’s why it’s easier to get involved with easy-going colleagues, people you can not only work with on a project but those you can also have a chat with.
Now, what can you do to ensure you avoid mean-spirited conversations about your colleagues? Or what can you do when you accidentally find yourself in a questionable conversation with a colleague.
- Do not put your personal or professional frustrations to someone you don’t trust fully
Do not give an “in” to a co-worker you don’t know well. You will easily get sucked into an inappropriate conversation if you do that. When you begin sharing things about people in an office, like that rumor you heard or the status of your recent job search, you become an accomplice and make it easy for other co-workers to spread your business around the office.
Instead, you should keep your thoughts to yourself. Stick to non-controversial topics only if you are having a conversation with a workmate you don’t trust well. You should choose wisely what you share with other people. Confiding in the wrong person always leads to unnecessary drama at the workplace and you don’t need that.
- Know how to locate trigger situations and topics
Know how to avoid gossips and always be ready to know when someone wants to gossip with you. Be on the lookout for common intro tactics so that you can easily divert it. When a colleague comes and tells you something like, “I’m going to tell you something, but don’t tell anyone,” you can respond to that with ‘Well, then you shouldn’t tell me, coz I’m poor at keeping secrets.”
- Smoothly change the subject
Office gossips need a captive audience. Do not let the audi3ence include you. There is a way you can lead the conversation to safe waters regardless of the topic being discussed.
- Do not repeat anything that shouldn’t be repeated
You cannot be 100% mum even if you try your best to avoid engaging in a gossipy conversation.
Even if you are good at changing the subject, there are times you engage yourself in topics you shouldn’t even have in the first place. The easiest way to avoid getting caught in controversies is to keep quite. Just listen to what they are saying and mind your own business.