Gossip & RumorIn The Workplace
Outline•   History•   Definition•   Positives•   Negatives•   Tips
Definitions• Rumors: “Bits of unverified information that circulate  among people confronted with uncertainty.”• Gossip: “...
GossipDefinition: Talking about another person’s privateinformation• Inside scoop - About romances, work habits,   illness...
Gossip• It’s a way to informally communicate that can be  positive or negative to an organization.• It’s a way to try to m...
Rumor• Occurs in an ambiguous environment.• Helps make sense of the unknown.
Purpose of Gossip• People gossip for the purpose of gaining  information, influencing others, and socializing with  other ...
What Happens When Gossip               Is Passed On?•   Distortion in recall•   Embellishments - Increase importance•   Fo...
If You…• Stay and listen to the gossip?
TipsStep 1• Ignore. Rumors spread only if you acknowledge  them.• Don’t pass the rumors on.• The rate of spread declines i...
TipsStep Two• Confront the people spreading the rumor if you can’t  ignore it or if it’s about you.• Ask them to stop spre...
TipsStep 3• Let the rumor run its course.• Rumors have a short shelf life. Be patient and it will  go away.
TipsStep 4• Talk to your boss if you can’t solve the issue on your  own.• Ask your boss if he/she has a suggestion on how ...
TipsStep 5• Concentrate on work.• Focus on your job to get your mind off the rumor.
TipsStep 6• Tell those that gossip that you don’t want any part of  the rumor.• This takes away the enjoyment they get wit...
Organizational Solutions• Open communication.• What is top management doing and why they are  doing it? Communicate how th...
Agnesian Work & Wellness EAP       (800) 458-8183
BoomersFormative events              Think of:• The Civil Rights Movement   • The Beatles• Vietnam War                 • B...
Boomers: An Overview• Boomers dominate the workforce (77 million)• They have a strong, loyal, solid work ethic  described ...
Boomers In the Workplace• Believe in, champion, and evaluate themselves and  others based on their work ethic.• Work ethic...
Boomers In the Marketplace• Are interested in products and services that will allow  them to regain control of their time....
Xers: At a Glance• Born between 1965 and 1981• When you think of this generation think:  Skeptical, Reluctant
Address the Problem BehaviorFormative Events            Think Of:• Watergate                 • Monica Lewinsky• Fall of th...
Xers: An Overview• As youth they were told they’d be the first  generation in the nation’s history that would not be  as s...
Xers In the Workplace• Eschew the hard-core, super-motivated, do or die  Boomer work ethic.• Want open communication regar...
Xers In the Marketplace• Can spot a phony a mile away.• Rely on peer-to-peer referrals more than any other  generation.• W...
Millennials/GenY/Echo: At a Glance• Born between 1981 and 1999• When you think of this generation think: Coddled
Millennials/GenY/Echo: At a GlanceFormative Events           Think of:•   Oklahoma City Bombing • Tara Lipinski•   Columbi...
Millennials: An Overview• For the majority of their lives they’ve only seen a  growing economy.• Entering the workforce in...
Millennials In the Workplace• Search for the individual who will help them achieve  their goals.• Want open, constant comm...
Generation (wh)Y?•   Technology obsessed vs. tech savvy•   Entitled vs. ambitious•   Pampered vs. nurtured•   High mainten...
Generation (wh)Y?•   Unrealistic vs. optimistic•   Excessively questioning vs. eager for understanding•   Lazy vs. broad i...
Generation (wh)Y?• Upbringing (child-centered, encouraged to question  everything)• Knowledge and Information (find it qui...
Generation (wh)Y?• Feeling valued/creating value (experience  important, but…)• Technology• Balance• Future (Columbine, 9/...
Opportunities• Employer• Community• Education
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Gossip & Rumor In the Workplace

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

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Gossip & Rumor In the Workplace

  1. 1. Gossip & RumorIn The Workplace
  2. 2. Outline• History• Definition• Positives• Negatives• Tips
  3. 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. 4. GossipDefinition: Talking about another person’s privateinformation• Inside scoop - About romances, work habits, illnesses, family, personal issues…• Often negative• Behind the back• Unverified information
  5. 5. Gossip• It’s a way to informally communicate that can be positive or negative to an organization.• It’s a way to try to make sense of one’s environment (DiFonzo & Prashant, 1997; Rosnow & Fine, 1976).• Occurs when things are ambiguous.
  6. 6. Rumor• Occurs in an ambiguous environment.• Helps make sense of the unknown.
  7. 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. 8. What Happens When Gossip Is Passed On?• Distortion in recall• Embellishments - Increase importance• Forgetting - Some information gets lost• Blending of events
  9. 9. If You…• Stay and listen to the gossip?
  10. 10. TipsStep 1• Ignore. Rumors spread only if you acknowledge them.• Don’t pass the rumors on.• The rate of spread declines if you ignore it.
  11. 11. TipsStep Two• Confront the people spreading the rumor if you can’t ignore it or if it’s about you.• Ask them to stop spreading it.
  12. 12. TipsStep 3• Let the rumor run its course.• Rumors have a short shelf life. Be patient and it will go away.
  13. 13. TipsStep 4• Talk to your boss if you can’t solve the issue on your own.• Ask your boss if he/she has a suggestion on how to deal with distracting rumors.
  14. 14. TipsStep 5• Concentrate on work.• Focus on your job to get your mind off the rumor.
  15. 15. TipsStep 6• Tell those that gossip that you don’t want any part of the rumor.• This takes away the enjoyment they get with spreading rumors.
  16. 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. 17. Agnesian Work & Wellness EAP (800) 458-8183
  18. 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. 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. 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. 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 they’re to be broken.• Want products and services that will indicate to their peers that they’re successful.
  22. 22. Xers: At a Glance• Born between 1965 and 1981• When you think of this generation think: Skeptical, Reluctant
  23. 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. 24. Xers: An Overview• As youth they were told they’d be the first generation in the nation’s history that would not be as successful as their parents.• “We’ve seen that the company won’t 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. 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. 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. 27. Millennials/GenY/Echo: At a Glance• Born between 1981 and 1999• When you think of this generation think: Coddled
  28. 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. 29. Millennials: An Overview• For the majority of their lives they’ve 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. 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. 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. 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. 33. Generation (wh)Y?• Upbringing (child-centered, encouraged to question everything)• Knowledge and Information (find it quick, don’t 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. 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 picture)
  35. 35. Opportunities• Employer• Community• Education

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