Office gossip can become a toxic distraction that threatens the productivity of your practice and effectiveness of your team. Spell it out loud and clear in your practice code of conduct that office gossip won’t be tolerated. If your employees assert that they aren’t sure what constitutes gossip, tell them to answer the following questions, which will help make things a little clearer:
Is what I am saying true? If not, it’s gossip. If I am not sure, it’s gossip.
Could it harm another person? If so, it’s gossip.
Is it necessary information? If not, it’s gossip.
How would I feel if someone made these comments about me? If I would be hurt, it’s gossip.
Would I be comfortable if every person in the office heard me say these things? If I would be embarrassed or ashamed, it’s likely gossip.
Is this conversation consistent with my personal values and professional standards? If you feel like you are doing something wrong or discussing something that can only be whispered, it’s likely gossip.