gossip & rumor in the workplace

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Post on 31-Oct-2014




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Understanding how workplace rumors and gossip function and strategies to handle them.


  • 1. Gossip & RumorIn The Workplace
  • 2. Outline History Definition Positives Negatives Tips
  • 3. Definitions Rumors: Bits of unverified information that circulate among people confronted with uncertainty. Gossip: More social in nature, usually personal and usually derogatory. Done for fun.Source: DiFonzo. Rumor Psychology: Social and Organizational Approaches.
  • 4. GossipDefinition: Talking about another persons privateinformation Inside scoop - About romances, work habits, illnesses, family, personal issues Often negative Behind the back Unverified information
  • 5. Gossip Its a way to informally communicate that can be positive or negative to an organization. Its a way to try to make sense of ones environment (DiFonzo & Prashant, 1997; Rosnow & Fine, 1976). Occurs when things are ambiguous.
  • 6. Rumor Occurs in an ambiguous environment. Helps make sense of the unknown.
  • 7. Purpose of Gossip People gossip for the purpose of gaining information, influencing others, and socializing with other members in the organization (Rosnow, 2001).
  • 8. What Happens When Gossip Is Passed On? Distortion in recall Embellishments - Increase importance Forgetting - Some information gets lost Blending of events
  • 9. If You Stay and listen to the gossip?
  • 10. TipsStep 1 Ignore. Rumors spread only if you acknowledge them. Dont pass the rumors on. The rate of spread declines if you ignore it.
  • 11. TipsStep Two Confront the people spreading the rumor if you cant ignore it or if its about you. Ask them to stop spreading it.
  • 12. TipsStep 3 Let the rumor run its course. Rumors have a short shelf life. Be patient and it will go away.
  • 13. TipsStep 4 Talk to your boss if you cant solve the issue on your own. Ask your boss if he/she has a suggestion on how to deal with distracting rumors.
  • 14. TipsStep 5 Concentrate on work. Focus on your job to get your mind off the rumor.
  • 15. TipsStep 6 Tell those that gossip that you dont want any part of the rumor. This takes away the enjoyment they get with spreading rumors.
  • 16. Organizational Solutions Open communication. What is top management doing and why they are doing it? Communicate how the decision affects organizational accomplishments and goals. Expect high productivity and communication. Clarity of rules and policies.
  • 17. Agnesian Work & Wellness EAP (800) 458-8183
  • 18. BoomersFormative events Think of: The Civil Rights Movement The Beatles Vietnam War Bill Gates Woodstock Bill Clinton The Cold War Oprah Winfrey Roe vs. Wade Muhammad Ali Kennedys, King assassinations
  • 19. Boomers: An Overview Boomers dominate the workforce (77 million) They have a strong, loyal, solid work ethic described by them as working long and hard, and being seen doing it. Economic conditions have required layoffs and downsizing, and some Boomers feel their work ethic may have gone unrewarded.
  • 20. Boomers In the Workplace Believe in, champion, and evaluate themselves and others based on their work ethic. Work ethic for Boomers is measured in hours worked. Measuring productivity in those hours is less important. Believe teamwork is critical to success. Believe relationship building is very important. Expect loyalty from those they work with.
  • 21. Boomers In the Marketplace Are interested in products and services that will allow them to regain control of their time. Believe technology brings with it as many problems as it provides solutions. Want products and services that have been customized for them, the individual. Believe rules should be obeyed unless they are contrary to what they want; then theyre to be broken. Want products and services that will indicate to their peers that theyre successful.
  • 22. Xers: At a Glance Born between 1965 and 1981 When you think of this generation think: Skeptical, Reluctant
  • 23. Address the Problem BehaviorFormative Events Think Of: Watergate Monica Lewinsky Fall of the Berlin Wall Michael Dell Challenger explosion The Gulf War The PC boom The Reagan Presidency
  • 24. Xers: An Overview As youth they were told theyd be the first generation in the nations history that would not be as successful as their parents. Weve seen that the company wont provide it, nor will the government, so it is up to me. They reject the Boomer work ethic attitude. They inherit the many management positions vacated by the Boomers upon their retirement.
  • 25. Xers In the Workplace Eschew the hard-core, super-motivated, do or die Boomer work ethic. Want open communication regardless of position, title, or tenure. Respect production over tenure. Value control of their time. Look for a person to whom they can invest loyalty, not a company.
  • 26. Xers In the Marketplace Can spot a phony a mile away. Rely on peer-to-peer referrals more than any other generation. Want options; plans B, C and D. Embrace technology as a way to maintain control of their lives. Want to be in control of the sale.
  • 27. Millennials/GenY/Echo: At a Glance Born between 1981 and 1999 When you think of this generation think: Coddled
  • 28. Millennials/GenY/Echo: At a GlanceFormative Events Think of: Oklahoma City Bombing Tara Lipinski Columbine LeAnn Rimes 9/11 Terrorist Attack The Internet boom
  • 29. Millennials: An Overview For the majority of their lives theyve only seen a growing economy. Entering the workforce in droves. In the workplace they are looking for the opportunity to learn and move about. They want to be close with their peers and search for leadership from their bosses and supervisors.
  • 30. Millennials In the Workplace Search for the individual who will help them achieve their goals. Want open, constant communication and positive reinforcement from their boss. Find working with someone of the Mature generation easy to do. Search for a job that provides great, personal fulfillment. Are searching for ways to shed the stress in their lives.
  • 31. Generation (wh)Y? Technology obsessed vs. tech savvy Entitled vs. ambitious Pampered vs. nurtured High maintenance vs. high performance Loud vs. vocal Superficial vs. efficient
  • 32. Generation (wh)Y? Unrealistic vs. optimistic Excessively questioning vs. eager for understanding Lazy vs. broad interests Needy vs. sensitive Know it alls vs. quick studies
  • 33. Generation (wh)Y? Upbringing (child-centered, encouraged to question everything) Knowledge and Information (find it quick, dont need to store in brain, breadth may compromise depth) Hard Work (Why doing it? Results oriented) Loyalty (higher for family, friends and community than employer)
  • 34. Generation (wh)Y? Feeling valued/creating value (experience important, but) Technology Balance Future (Columbine, 9/11, terrorism, global warming, financial crisis) From employers (engaged in professional development, ongoing learning, feedback, bigger pict