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How to act at work when colleagues or bosses become protagonists of gossip

There are few environments where gossip, rumors and gossip do not occur. And the work was not going to be less. Although science recognizes certain benefits in the act of commenting on something “secret” about third parties —it amuses us and helps to unite the group— in a work environment it can generate very unfair situations. Above all, if the line of sympathetic gossip is crossed, and harmful or toxic comments are given that can affect someone’s reputation. In fact, as the Netflix series Intimacy recalls, this type of situation can lead to episodes of mobbing or harassment that have a direct impact on the private lives of the people involved. Finding out that your colleagues talk about you or your personal life behind your back can be quite an unpleasant situation and not always easy to resolve. Bearing in mind that work is a place where you have to go several days a week, depending on the subject that gives rise to gossip, the situation can be very difficult. In Spain, for example, there have been some very serious cases that have ended in tragedy, such as that of the Iveco worker, victim of the dissemination of a sexual video, who committed suicide after being subjected to the pressure of ridicule from her companions. As the psychologist Elena Olaiz explains, when it comes to facing a situation of this type, “it will be essential to manage all emotions, thoughts and sensations so that they do not affect personal and professional self-esteem and, therefore, avoid problems at home. and not pay the stress and anxiety at work with the family”. To achieve this, this professional proposes letting go of the pain in a safe context and then learning to set limits on the people we consider: “If you need help, ask for it, you are not alone in this. We must seek help and accompaniment on the path that must be traveled to face fear, pain, vulnerability, injustice, etc.” In general, the recipe of professionals to curb gossip in a work context is to be assertive and distance themselves from these dynamics. As Olaiz explains, although we find it violent, “when someone makes a judgment and we don’t like it or it doesn’t seem appropriate, we have to set limits without fear to be happier and feel safe and fulfilled at work. And, for this, it is necessary not to participate in gossip.” Some companies have anonymous mechanisms to report events of this type that are affecting someone’s image. Esther González, director of the Master’s Degree in Human Resources at EAE Business School, points out that “a company that takes this matter seriously should have impartial figures or committees that assess whether a situation of harassment is really taking place, because harassment cannot get out free There is research and books on harassment at work that show that, many times, it starts with very subtle things, of low intensity, that cannot be contrasted or refuted publicly, but that must be brought to the attention of managers or the competent department. to see if it is an issue that should be escalated.” Sometimes, it is difficult to identify if we are being mobbed and for this there are organizations such as Funaco (Fundación en Acción Contra el Acoso) that help distinguish what behaviors are considered harassment and what guidelines must be followed if we want to report it legally. In any case, as González indicates, when it affects work, it must be taken seriously, because biased information can do a lot of damage: “There are people who release information in pill form in the form of lies or half-truths that create a residue very dangerous. If they do it very often and are given encouragement, we may be leaving defenseless a person who, indirectly, is being slandered. The greatest intangible value that people have, in the end, is our reputation and you can’t play with that”. The expert also indicates that “if, despite talking with superiors or the Human Resources department through the established channels, the situation is not redirected and those responsible do nothing, perhaps it is necessary to consider changing places.” How to act when the boss is gossiping? Although it is usual for gossip to occur between co-workers, it can also happen that it is someone in charge who promotes these dynamics and we find ourselves, inadvertently, in the middle of an unpleasant “crossfire”. Antía, 39, remembers with astonishment what happened to her. “The most surreal situation I have ever experienced in a job interview was caused precisely by gossip,” says this graphic designer. “I opted for a position to move within the same company. When I went to the interview with my new boss and we talked about the department he was in at the time, the first thing he did was ask me about my boss’s new partner, who was another employee. I was knocked out and it seemed fatal to me that he put me in such an uncomfortable position in that context. It was also a weird way to start the interview and I was no longer comfortable. The idea of ​​working for him generated a lot of rejection. When facing a superior with this attitude, the psychologist points out that there is no single possible answer, since it depends a lot on the needs of each person: “There are people who will need to downplay gossip and focus on work, there are people who will want to get involved in the gossip and there are people who will not dare to speak their mind for fear of what the boss will think if they do not follow the gossip. Therefore, we must work to try to achieve a balance between duty and what makes us feel good. For the Human Resources expert Esther González, the main party interested in curbing the rumor mill should be the company: “In the first place, because the human being is programmed to think badly. So, in any context in which there is an uncertainty or a lack of information, the speculations, the hypotheses, the gossip will begin, ”she indicates. “Therefore, in a company where there is a lot of transparency and it is the manager himself who redirects the situation, the gossip is going to be fair. It is inevitable that there will be someone like that, but in a healthy organization, in which information flows directly in all directions, what has to be said is said to the face”. She continues reading “I don’t come to work to make friends”: why turning co-workers into colleagues is healthy

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– Article Written By @María Sánchez Sánchez from https://smoda.elpais.com/trabajo/de-cotilleos-a-videos-sexuales-como-actuar-cuando-alguien-viola-la-intimidad-de-un-companero/

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