How To Handle Gossip At Work
Have you ever been waiting for the elevator and suddenly, two girls walk out and immediately stop talking and give you an awkward glance? All of a sudden you think, “Oh my gosh what if they were talking about me…?!”
We’ve all been in an uncomfortable work situation at one point or another and sometimes there’s just no way to avoid it! PR girls can get catty, and gossip sometimes does circulate the office. Whether it is about you, or someone else, the best way to handle this situation is to avoid any gossip-y conversations at all costs! You never want to get a bad label or be the intern who got caught saying something nasty about your supervisor, fellow intern or boss!
Us PR interns already know that we work in a very competitive industry and we all want to rise to the top of our careers so it is best to stay clear of any degrading gossip that comes your way.
On the other hand, a lot of offices have a positive and friendly work environment where co-workers end up becoming close friends and even share weekend Happy Hours together. Of course, take advantage of those bonds and always allow your office space to be a space of friendship but make sure your friendships don’t get in the way of your work and career goals! If a co-worker invites you to take part in some mean office gossip try to say as nicely as possible that you really have no opinion on the topic and then quickly change the subject. For example, try talking about things relevant to our industry like new PR trends or newsworthy PR stories. By continuing the conversation with your co-workers about something different, you come off unscathed from the gossip and look friendly at the same time.
The PR world is filled with enough gossip between agencies and clients and partners so the office should be a place where everyone gets along and helps each other out! Try suggesting fun Friday office activities so that you get to know everyone and always give a friendly smile when passing in the hallway. I know that the morning can be rough for some people, especially before they have that first delicious sip of coffee, so give a warm hello to your boss and supervisor. While the gossip will come and go, the smile you give to keep the peace will always be remembered.