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Sunday, September 6, 2009

Office Gossip: "Interesting"

Office gossip is present within every group, large or small. Hopefully, it's not too pervasive on your own team. We like being in the know, don't we? One can argue that office gossip is benign or hurtful. I would submit, at the very least, that the line between good and evil, when it comes to gossip, is very thin.

I used to work with a very professional person who knew exactly how to deal with gossip when she heard it. Whenever someone started dishing up the dirt and the time came for this person to respond, she would most often say one word: "interesting". She said nothing else. It's the perfect response, isn't it? It just stopped the gossip in its tracks. I mean, what comeback do you have to "interesting"? For the time being, at least, the gossip usually just fizzled out at that point and no one was mad that it had ended. It was just done.

I asked my friend about her response and she said she had learned to fend off gossip like this many years ago and had kept to her mantra ever since.

What responses have you found to be the most effective in stemming office gossip?

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