Gossip Will Destroy the Brand You’ve Worked Hard to Build

A couple of years ago I received a press release from Randstaad USA that I saved.  The press release focused on a study they did that identified the Top 7 Pet Peeves in the Workplace.  Here they are, with the percentage of people who identified each pet peeve.

  1. Gossip – 60%
  2. Other’s poor time management skills – 54%
  3. Messiness in communal spaces – 45%
  4. Potent scents – 42%
  5. Loud noises – 41%
  6. Overuse of electronic personal communication devices in meetings – 28%
  7. Misuse of email — 22%

Why should you care?  Because all of these pet peeves are things to avoid if you are going to have positive personal impact and create the life and career success you want and deserve.

In this post, I want to focus on gossip.  The same day that I received the press release, I got an email from Gary Ryan Blair, The Goals Guy.  He has a special report out called Gossip, Rumors and Innuendo: Understanding Gossip and How to Control It!  You can purchase it by going to www.goalsguy.com.  Click on “Store”, then “Special Reports”.

Gary likens gossip to workplace violence.

“To many people, the idea of “workplace violence” connotes the physical harm that one may do to another.  However, there is another form of workplace violence that is just as dangerous and insidious, and this is workplace gossip, rumors, and innuendo.  While your first inclination may be to consider the way we talk as not being violent, the fact remains, our words in the context of gossip, rumors, and innuendo often lead to hurt, pain and suffering.”

He’s right.  I know there’s an old saying, “Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words can never hurt me.”  This is something that mothers tell their children to help them deal with the inconsiderate things kids say to one another.  Unfortunately, it’s not true.

Gossip can have a very debilitating effect on another person.  Successful people just say no to gossip. Gossip serves no good purpose, other than to hurt the person who is the subject.

The book, As A Gentleman Would Say, offers some great advice about gossip.

“When a gentleman is asked to substantiate a rumor… He does not say: ‘Let me put it this way: I’m not going to say yes, I’m not going to say no.’  ‘I think I know the truth, but I better not say it.’  ‘Don’t you have any better way to waste your time?’

“But he does say: ‘I don’t know the truth about that, so I’d prefer not to say anything.’”


Keep confidences and avoid gossip.  Don’t embarrass others by repeating what they share with you – even if it isn’t in confidence.”  Gossip not only hurts other people, it makes you smaller.  People with positive personal impact don’t gossip.  The old saying, “Extraordinary people talk about ideas, average people talk about events, and little people talk about other people,” is true.  Be an extraordinary person.  Don’t gossip or share things told to you in confidence.  Treat most things that aren’t common knowledge in your company as being told to you in confidence.

Your career mentor,


PS: I write this blog to help people create the life and career success they want and deserve. Now I’m going one step further. I’ve created a membership site in which I’ve pulled together my best thoughts on success. And, as a reader of this blog, you can become a member for free. Just go to https://budbilanich.com/join to claim your free membership. You’ll be joining a vibrant and growing community of success minded professionals. I hope to see you there.


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