If you are going to spread rumor, make it good that it will benefit others. You can quote me on that. This was the gist of my short talk about Occupational Health and Safety at our General Membership meeting .
How often have either you or someone you know opened a conversation or yet another Facebook post with those lines or something similar to hook you? What follows is a juicy piece of gossip that they can’t wait to share with anyone who will listen. It’s destructive, malicious and intended to harm someone either personally, professionally or both. It happens in our personal lives and unfortunately more often that not at our workplaces!
Have you been a target of workplace gossip, slander, libel or the intended defamation of your character? Perhaps you have been unwittingly used as part of the gossip hungry food chain to pass on the tasty morsel you were just fed? Have you been the target of some nasty rumor that was slipped into your manager’s ear at just the right time? After all, they say the right timing and a good rumor is everything you need to destroy someone!
This is a topic that I have not tackled before, however, we need to look at this objectively and take measures to protect each other and ourselves at our work sites.
The next time you hear a rumor, don’t pass it around and add fuel to the avalanche. If it is that concerning to you and perhaps involves you, check the facts with the target and approach them personally. Tell the person who shared it with you that you will not participate in or feed gossip and you are taking a stand against that kind of behavior inside and outside the workplace. Tell them that it is very wrong and to stop!
Consider the source of the rumor and ask yourself – why is this person telling me this? What is their motive and what do they have to gain? When people badmouth or “trash talk” it does not make what they are saying true and more often than not it is untrue. Gems you learn from your parents at a young age serve you best over the course of your life like; “if you don’t have anything good to say about someone, don’t say anything at all”. It’s the right way to behave as a child and certainly is as an adult.
You do not deserve to have your career or reputation destroyed, so don’t take part in helping to destroy someone else’s. Stand up and say NO to bullies and their malicious lies and propaganda. It is a behavior no one wants to be subjected to but can happen to anyone. Now that you know the truth, you will know what to do the next time some says to you … hey, did you hear? … rumor has it that …
The Member's Voice submitted by Sally Bankiner, Secretary-Treasurer, Local 15 CUPE.