Avoiding workplace drama should be easier than it is, just ignore the gossip chatter, the toxic coworker, and playing into the games…right? However, we all know it is not that simple, as it is super easy to get sucked into the gossip and wanting to know what is going on. If you truly want to avoid workplace drama and not get sucked into it, we have the 10 best ways to avoid workplace drama.
1. Don’t gossip: Let’s be honest gossiping can be fun and as humans, we are curious about our peers and want to know what is going on. That is fine, but once you start gossipping or talking behind someone’s back about them, it’s no longer innocent and fuels the workplace drama. Gossiping can not only be harmful to others, it can create rumors and cause some people to look at others in a different light due to not having the whole truth.
2. Walk away before you get sucked into workplace drama: Water cooler chatter can be fun sometimes, catching up on weekend plans, learning about someone’s new love interest, but if the conversation turns gossipy, just walk away. The best part about walking away is that you don’t even have to pretend like you don’t know what is going on, you literally don’t! No need to say anything, just politely turn and leave, or if you feel necessary just say you have a pressing deadline or call you to have to jump on.
3. Set boundaries: Decided how much you are willing to share with others as well as learn about their life. It is easier to stay away from workplace drama when you have boundaries on what you are not only willing to share about your life but also learn and in return tell others about someone else. Setting boundaries is a big component of avoiding workplace drama.
4. Nip rumors in the bud: Remember playing telephone as a child and how quickly things escalated and by the end the only person who knew exactly what the truth was, was always the first person. That is one way rumors start-“so and so heard this”, while another person heard a more dramatic version. Regardless if you know what the truth is or not, don’t engage in spreading rumors and steer the conversation towards the truth. Even if you don’t know the truth, offer to ask the person in question what is really going on, or simply say “that is not what I heard” and walk away to help avoid workplace drama.
5. Don’t over share: You will spend the majority of your waking hours during the week with your colleagues and it is easy to become closer to them than you maybe even want just due to how much time you spend together. Of course, you can make real friendships at work, but often they are just workplace friends and once you move on, the chances that you gather with former co-workers are pretty slim. So, know who your real friends are, and don’t overshare with those who are not your real friends and just want to chat to avoid work.
6. Refrain from venting too much: Again, we spend so much time with colleagues it is easy to vent about work, home life, love life, etc. Stress, deadlines, and that one frustrating colleague can make it easy to vent about work to others. We all do it, but put a cap on it before it gets out of control, not only can it make you look bad, but if you complain about others it can start unwanted rumors or just make you look bad.
If you want to vent about your home life, complain about your husband or kids, or have family drama, know when is the right and wrong time. There is no need to air all of your dirty laundry at work; it is unprofessional, and if others think that you are one to vent and gossip you are just part of the problem.
7. Avoid passive-aggressive behavior: It can be so easy to be passive-aggressive at work and maybe you do it without evening realizing it. Passive-aggressive behavior will just poke the bear and get you nowhere, except possibly creating more workplace drama.
8. Follow the golden rule–Do unto others as you would have them do unto you: Simple yet powerful, something we teach children at a young age but don’t always follow as we get older. It is easy to get caught up in workplace drama and gossip, it makes you feel included and if you are hearing the gossip then at least you aren’t the one being gossiped about. However, gossip is just talking behind someone’s back, it doesn’t feel good and if you don’t want others talking behind your back, then don’t talk about them.
9. Don’t avoid confrontation: This might sound counterintuitive but in order to avoid something, sometimes you have to face it head-on. If you are part of a conversation that turns into gossiping about someone else, tell the truth if you know it. If you don’t know what the truth is, bring that up and point out that no one knows what’s really going on. Sure, it will be uncomfortable but a better way to avoid workplace drama is to point out the truth, even if you don’t know the whole truth.
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10. Remember that you don’t always know the full story: Sure you may be super chummy with some coworkers and others you think you know what is happening with their personal life based on what you have heard around the office. However, at the end of the day unless someone has told you exactly what is going on outside of work, most likely you have no idea. You probably don’t share everything with your friends and most likely coworkers either. So give each other a little more grace to help avoid workplace drama by starting and partaking in rumors.
Workplace drama is super common and easy to get caught up in. It’s easier to gossip and join in the conversations than walk away because we are all curious and want to know. Which is fine, but if you really want to know something about someone, just ask them. If you wouldn’t ask them the question, then you definitely should not be talking behind their back about it. Workplace drama is going to happen, but you don’t have to be a part of it.
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