Why Do People Gossip At Work
These four reasons: fear, belonging, intimacy, and the desire to work with others who carry their own weight are the reasons people may choose to gossip.
What To Know About Gossip
We all know that talking about others behind their back is bad. Gossip should be abhorred. I remember reading in a spiritual text that “backbiting extinguishes the light of the soul.” That’s deep, and on a practical level, it does.
Gossip is incredibly detrimental to any organization. And, what often gets missed is why people gossip. But, before we answer the question, “Why do people gossip at work?” let’s clear one thing up. I truly believe it is the rare person who chooses to gossip simply to be mean and hurt the reputation of the person or entity being talked about.
The 4 Main Reasons People Gossip
1. People fear the unknown.
If people don’t have information that they want, they fear the unknown and will try to garner it from others – especially if that information appears to be hidden. This is why closed-door conversations are so detrimental.
2. People want to belong and be included.
If people believe they don’t have information that others have, they will feel excluded and on the outside of the “inner circle.” Information is power. Everyone wants to be part of the team, to be included, and the easiest way to identify those who are part of a tribe are those who are “in the know.”