Backbiting, intriguing, gossips. Whom already has started to work can remember one of these situations. In a working environment but also in family gossiping or even backbiting is almost inevitable. Often just a remark seems innocent but without proper tools, strategies or awareness the ambiance can become a stress source which is able to embitter our daily life.
Gossip is able to shape the hierarchy inside a group. Often is observable that workers trust more in those information which come through informal channels than coming through a formal one. Those people who have extensive networks have more information. The greatest value of gossip is it reaches faster people than a formal information. Sometimes its aim is releasing tension and this is when we talk about curative gossiping.
Gossiping can have useful role in an organization however very important to make a difference and setting up a border between informal information exchange and mobbing. Mobbing is an often repeated (few times or more per week), permanent psychological terror. Mobbing has several forms, can appear in lack of communication opportunities, in making social relations impossible, in hindering professional work but also in undermining reputation and/or respect. The continuous tension causes anxiety, the worker’s psychological capacity worsen which produces more stress situations. Long-lasting stress has several negative outcome, like worsen physical well-being, can cause depression and worsen capacity. It’s able to make even deep changes in behaviour.
How can we cope with stress?
We have several options to cope with stress caused by organizational gossiping. We can use problem centered coping style when we focus onto the situation, trying to change it. In this case we also can work on our personality, important not to blame ourselves and develop a proper self-esteem. Improving our communication technique is always essential, we might need a confident and determined manner and effective assertive tool for self-assurance. We might need to learn and practice efficient conflict management techniques. We also can involve the higher level of leadership into the solution. If more people turn against us, we can try to talk with every each of them, we can look for alliances or a support group.
We also can choose the emotional centered coping strategy as well. If the situation seems like unchangeable we can change its understanding and decreasing our emotional reactions. In these cases often help using humour. The most important is to intend time for us, for recreation, like dong sport, listening music or reading.
“Pay attention to who talks badly about you behind your back and not what he or she is saying”