xxxxvii) Gossiping

Not realising the damaging impact when gossiping gets out of control or is unleashed overwhelmingly against an individual (Fiona Curruthers, 2005; Brad Hatch, 2006c). When we are told something, the majority of us will immediately look to confirm the information. This is associated with confirmation bias (see above point). Furthermore, the office psychopaths use gossip to undermine people, ie anything that is harmful to others' careers, such as suggestions that they are not performing, leaving the organisation, having an affair. On the other hand, gossiping, if used correctly, can be very positive, ie a means of communicating a message, quickly and clearly. If used negatively, excessive gossiping is called "mobbing"

The rumour mill can be a good barometer of employees' morale. People talk about things that are important to them. It is unwise to ignore rumours but it is best to ignore the rumour-mongers. The most effective way to handle gossip and rumours is with management transparency.


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