The Antidote to Office Gossip

by Alicia Bassuk and Claire Lew

Sara, the CEO of a software company, had recently fired an employee. In a heartbeat, gossip about the who, how, and why of the termination began spreading through the office grapevine.

The speculation was flat-out false. But the buzz quickly infected her team with a rumor that more people were on the chopping block, even though this was far from the truth.

How did the gossip get to that point? Why do workplace rumors happen in the first place? And what can be done to prevent them?

Up to 90% of conversations qualify as gossip.1 That means it is almost certain that you are pretty regularly a rumor initiator or enabler, listening without deterrence. And it’s not just cafeteria ...

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