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Friday, March 13, 2009

Office Politics and Gossip

- This Soviet war poster conveys the message:
"Don't chatter! Gossiping borders on treason" (1941).

According to Marilyn Haight, at BigBadBoss.com Office Politics “is the use of one's individual or assigned power within an employing organization for the purpose of obtaining advantages beyond one's legitimate authority.” Those advantages may include access to tangible assets, or intangible benefits such as status or pseudo-authority that influences the behavior of others. Both individuals and groups may engage in Office Politics."

I think most people would agree that those participating in office politics seek to gain an advantage. Being a skillful office politician may get you recognized or promoted, but it may also come at the expense of your or another’s integrity.

Remember, gossip is usually destructive (at a minimum unfair) to somebody, and should be discouraged whenever possible. If we are honest, we would all admit that we participate in office gossip. We need to limit office gossip to be the exception, not the norm in our daily conversations with others.

Be accountable for your words in the workplace. Work should be fun and our work relationships should be positive and healthy. Healthy work relationships are dependent on gossip being kept to a minimum.

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