Gossip Cop and “Friends” at Work

At work it can sometimes make things seem more bearable to talk about what’s going on in your coworker’s personal lives or personnel issues in the office rather than work or fluff conversations about the weather or what you did this weekend. We have all fallen into this trip whether it was intentional or not. Although, it may seem nice to know everything that’s going on around you: if so and so received a warning or blah blah is having issues with another coworker. It may make you feel good to know that you’re not the only one with issues in this work environment. It may make you feel somewhat empowered to know that you are not in this bad situation.

Whatever feelings it makes you feel, positive or negative know that there is absolutely no benefit to participating in office gossip and more than like, it can get you in trouble. If you know something you are not supposed to and make the mistake of mentioning it to the wrong person, it can make things seriously worse. If you have a connection with an Executive but are working for his/her direct report it may cause them to worry about their position and change their attitude towards you. They may feel threatened or uncomfortable which will trickle down to you. Or they may treat you differently in order to look good to their boss, only to have your coworkers resent you for it.

Any personal relationships you maintain at work can eventually even be a risk and in general, it’s better to not talk about work at work or home at work with your coworker/friend. It is very important to keep things professional in the office because you never know when your “friend” will become your boss or when you will become your friend’s boss. You don’t want to have to fire someone who is your friend, because that will hurt your relationship.

If you start at work with no connections, its best to make sure that throughout your time at this organization/office you keep your friendships to a certain level of closeness. When one of you moves on, you can develop the relationship without all of the added risks.

My advice, keep your lips sealed when the gossip starts and keep a distance from your work friends (until you or they move on of course!). If they are good enough to keep around, they will understand this mentality and it will help you keep things professional in the office. It’s a tough decision to make but ultimately, it’s for the best.

Advice? Questions? Comments? Leave Below.

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