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Rumor Fires: How to Extinguish Rumors in the Workplace

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Rumors can potentially damage someone. Rumors can also spread quickly in the workplace. But how do you prevent coworkers from spreading rumors?

Rumors can spread like wild fire. Sometimes the most secure conversations we have with our co-workers can come back and haunt us later. Whether rumors are true or false, they are a common occurrence in today's workplace.
But how do you prevent rumors from spreading?

A key idea of effective communication is considering your audience. This means using communication that never discriminates against or supports negativity towards your listener. Careful consideration of how your dialogue
is phrased can prevent negative outcomes. The old adage ''Always put you in someone else's shoes'' rings true in effective communication. Always consider your reaction if you were on the opposite end of the communication

However, even with effective communication, there are those co-workers who spread rumors without hesitation.
Learning the communication styles of your co-workers is crucial. If you encounter a situation of a co-worker spreading rumors, confront the co-worker and explain how you do not approve of rumors being spread in the workplace. Most people who spread rumors do so as a way to receive attention from others. Letting your co-worker know that you do not approve will show your co-worker that spreading rumors is a bad thing and not a good attribute to have. Try to keep a journal of any conversations with the co-worker as a record in case you are approached by your boss concerning the issue.

The key to prevention of any potential negative rumors from being spread is always maintain a positive viewpoint. Negativity is contagious as it can cause those around us to fall prey. Never talk badly about your job, tasks, co-workers, or boss. Those seeking favoritism from your boss will immediately relay your negativity to your boss and can put your job at risk. Positivity can help boost the morale of those around you.

Avoidance is also great to prevent the rumor mill. If you know someone that has a reputation of spreading rumors then is best to steer clear of him or her. Again, most people who spread rumors do so for attention so avoidance can prevent future ''juicy gossip'' from spreading as the rumor-spreading co-worker will see that they receive less attention by spreading rumors.
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