Humans are social beings, especially in a work environment. When social interactions take place at work, it’s likely some of those interactions may involve gossip.

While gossip can be toxic in any environment, it’s especially destructive in the workplace. Gossip can have a negative impact on work environments, employee morale, and productivity, just to name a few; It can also be damaging to the organization. 

Gossip and malicious talk condemns three people: the speaker, the listener/s, and the one who is spoken of. 

The Speaker

It may seem obvious that the person affected by gossip is the person who is the subject of the comments, however, the speaker also runs the risk of defaming their reputation. 

An employee who spreads malicious comments throughout the office is often deemed untrustworthy by their colleagues. Furthermore, employees who gossip may be seen as unprofessional by their superiors. 

When it comes time for advancement, those who gossip may be less likely to be promoted due to their reputation of being untrustworthy, not a team player, or by their unseemly actions. 

The Listener

Gossip is distracting, and anyone who listens to it may be diverting their attention away from their work. Productivity, office morale, and teamwork often deteriorate as a result of malicious chatter. 

Gossip and malicious talk is most effectively reduced by the listener. If the person spreading gossip has no one to speak to, the gossip virtually disappears. 

The Subject

For obvious reasons, the person who is spoken of will be negatively impacted by workplace gossip. Being the subject of malicious talk may result in good employees leaving the company because of the toxic culture.

The person who is being spoken of may even take legal action on an organization if they feel their reputations or careers have been destroyed or damaged due to the malicious talk. 

While one may not be able to avoid gossip, there are ways to minimize the effects it has on the workplace. If someone is gossiping, consider taking the “no comment” approach. By saying things like “I don’t know her/him well enough to make assumptions”, or “I’m sorry I am very busy”, gossip can be minimized. 

The best way to avoid or reduce gossip is by focusing on the positive. Instead of discussing someone’s relationship outside of work, discuss how a customer was helped today! 

About Roy Murad (edited from

Roy Murad is a father, husband, business advisor, investor, consummate entrepreneur, and advocate for new business ventures. Over the course of 35 years, Roy Murad has amassed a wealth of experience from building businesses, guiding companies, and identifying strong investment opportunities – all while nurturing a thriving family. Now, he looks to share his valuable experience with everyone who desires to live a balanced and successful life.

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