A little bit of office gossip is a good stress reliever – that’s the conclusion of a study carried out at the University of California in Berkley, USA.
Gossip appears to offer therapeutic benefits for people who are genuinely upset about wrongdoing or poor behaviour in the workplace. If people are able to tell their colleagues about something annoying they have seen happen at work, it helps calm them down, the study revealed.
However, there’s a fine line between good and bad gossip. Good gossip is pro-social and works for the benefit of the group, promoting accountability among a team of workers. . Pro-social gossip is honest and well-intentioned.
For example, when a group of women warn each other about a predatory male in the office, it works for the good of the group and helps maintain productivity.
But ‘bad’ gossip which crosses the line and becomes nasty can ostracize people and also hurt the person who does it (no-one trusts a malicious gossip). So before you pass on a tasty morsel of information, decide whether it will truly benefit your colleagues, or just diminish you in the eyes of others.
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