We’ve all done it. It might have seemed harmless at the time. We started or passed along gossip about one of our co-workers.

But it isn’t harmless and it can be hurtful.

Sadly, as workplace violence, bullying, and harassment rates continue to rise, gossip is also increasingly playing a larger role. Gossip nowadays doesn’t just happen in person around the water cooler, it occurs online and on social media sites too.

Here’s what you can do:

  1. If you hear gossip, don’t spread it.
  2. Change the subject when someone starts gossiping.
  3. Excuse yourself politely and walk away when people start gossiping.
  4. Say something positive instead.
  5. If it gets out of hand, report it to HR.
What are your suggestions for avoiding and refraining from workplace gossip?