Business Expert Suzy Welch Explains Why You Shouldn’t Gossip At Work
If you’ve had trouble getting ahead in your career or lost a job recently, it might be because of your big mouth.
We shouldn’t have to tell you this, but don’t gossip at work.
On Wednesday, Jon Steinberg, CEO of Daily Mail North America, spoke with business magnates and power couple Jack and Suzy Welch.
The conversation encompassed a wide array of topics, from education to social media. The Welchs are a goldmine when it comes to advice surrounding business and careers, but one point Suzy Welch made stood out in particular:
Gossip is a career killer.
It’s fun… but it is unproductive, it’s wrong, it’s unkind.
In other words, the things you say have consequences. You might think a discussion between coworkers is equivalent to a conversation between friends, but it’s not.
It’s natural to want to gossip as it can be quite therapeutic. When things are frustrating, it’s difficult to keep it all inside. But it’s a lot more productive to address those frustrations directly than it is to speak about them behind someone’s back.
Even if your concerns surround your boss, respect that person enough to let him or her know why you feel unsettled. He or she will respect you for your candor and for taking the initiative.
And if you’re tempted to gossip about a colleague on a subject that’s unrelated to work, do yourself a favor and don’t. It’s childish and counterproductive.
Moving forward in your career is as much about being skilled and intelligent as it is about being liked. If you’re the gossip king or queen of the office, chances are you’re not everyone’s favorite.
Nobody can say this better than Don Draper. In the very first season of “Mad Men,” the main character gives some very sound advice when his young colleague says something untoward about a female coworker:
Keep it up, and even if you do get my job you’ll never run this place. You’ll die in that corner office, a midlevel executive with a little bit of hair who women go home with out of pity.
Want to know why? Because no one will like you.
Suzy Welch is absolutely right: If what you’re tempted to speak about isn’t important enough to address to someone directly, keep it to yourself.
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