Listen Live
101.1 The Wiz Featured Video

Have you ever been caught up in gossip that occurs at your job? Has it ever led to drama and unnecessary pressure? It isn’t unthinkable that conversations go beyond work and become personal. You spend hours everyday with people, the lines become crossed. If you take a moment to think about it, you can probably point out every co-worker that has instigated some sort of gossip. Did you lend an ear to it? Did you participate? Here is something to think about: shut it out! The primary focus at work is the work. Productivity levels decrease while time is spent discussing irrelevant information that has nothing to do with the task at hand. I’ve picked up some tips from Rachel Farrell’s article via that I’d like to share with you. Here is something else to consider when interacting with challenging co-workers:

1. Keep conversations factual

Try not to let feelings get in the way of the facts. “If a colleague is chronically late, for example, instead of saying, ‘You always come in 15 minutes late,’ try saying, ‘The day begins at 9 a.m. I’ve noticed the last three days you have arrived at 9:15 a.m. Please arrive on time.'”

Some people think that co-workers who shed tears during reviews or other high-emotion situations are passive aggressive. “If you have a ”crier’ in your office, be kind, but firm,” Cole Jones suggests. Say, “Why don’t you step outside and collect yourself and we will continue this then?”

2. Keep a paper trail

“Always BCC (blind copy) yourself on important e-mails and documents. Follow up any in-person meeting with an e-mail stating, ‘This is what we discussed. These are my action steps and/or deadlines for moving forward. Please let me know if you have any questions or anticipate any problems.'”

3. Don’t engage or encourage the behavior

“If the passive-aggressive offender makes an inappropriate or unfunny remark, rather than laughing it off, respond with, ‘I don’t understand what you’re saying.’ It’s more than likely they won’t have the temerity to repeat it,” she says. “If someone tries to draw you in with gossip, say, smile and say, ‘I’d rather not speculate.’ Then remove yourself from the situation.”

4. Don’t allow others to hide behind technology

“If you feel the offending colleague is using e-mail or other technology to wage his war, send a note saying, ‘I’d prefer to discuss this in person. What time works for you?'” she suggests. “You will be surprised how few people respond.”

5. Don’t be afraid to probe

Passive-aggressive types sometimes use “fine” in place of other choice expletives, she says.

“If you feel his ‘fine’ is taking the place of frustration or anger, probe a bit. ‘I hear you saying “fine,” but I have the sense there’s some underlying frustration. Can I do anything more to help you understand the goal?'” Cole Jones says. “Notice you haven’t said, ‘I sense you are frustrated,’ which can make them clamp down even more.”


What’s your take on workplace drama? Leave us your comments below!




Leave a Reply