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Whoever gossips to you will gossip about you.
~ Spanish Proverb
Do you love chatting with your colleagues at workplace? How often do you talk about others? Do you
find gossiping fun? Or have you ever been the victim of it? Whatever it is, chances are high that you have
been affected by workplace gossip one way or the other. In fact, gossip is one of the major vices that affect
our workplace. It is creating barriers between those who work together, decreasing productivity, and
spreading negative feelings.
Although some researchers tend to highlight the positive effects of gossip by emphasizing its role in
enhancing communication between workers, the negative effects of gossip far outweigh its supposed
positive aspects. Gossip, in plain and simple words, involves spreading lies, truths with bad intention, and
half truths. Its effects can be very detrimental to a person or an organization. Typically, gossip flourishes in
an environment where there is a lack of transparency - which may be between management and employees,
management and trade unions; supervisors and subordinates. People who spread gossip at the office
generally feel insecure of their own positions at work, and aim for success without considering the
interest of their colleagues. Gossip mongers are usually jealous by nature, and find satisfaction in
spreading rumors about those who are more popular and successful in their endeavors and projects.
Identifying office gossips
The characteristics of gossips are jealousy, envy, insecurity about themselves, insecurity about their
position, untrustworthiness, paranoia, suspicion of other people's motives, lack of trust (based on how they
behave), not typically a team player, they play victim, want attention, they give a great first impression as
being nice, only talk about people they are threatened by, only repeat what they hear, can't carry on a