how to confront someone who is talking behind your back

Confronting Someone Who is Talking Behind Your Back at Work

Talking Behind Someone’s Back

Office gossip is rampant in many workplaces. What do you do when you get wind that someone is talking behind your back?  They are displeased with something you are doing. They haven’t told you directly, but you inadvertently find out.  In this case study, the employee accidentally sent a text about you that was intended to go to someone else. We’ll explore 3 approaches, discussing the pros and cons of each. You’ll learn how to confront someone who is talking behind your back, and be well equipped to act when this happens.

The Situation

You are the vice president of a marketing firm. One of your direct reports, Mason, prepares client presentations for you. You’ve worked together for a year in a fairly smooth relationship. Mason is somewhat quiet, but efficient at the job. He has never spoken to you about any problems working together.

Gossip Intercepted

However, you received a text from Mason one evening when you were both working late. Once you started reading, it became clear it was sent to you by mistake. It was meant for one of Mason’s friends. It reads:  “My boss is ok, but hovers a lot. checks EVERY little thing. i wish i got more credit for knowing my job. Some days, feels like I’m back in high scool. TTYL”

manager behavior

Which of these is an Effective Strategy for Dealing with Gossip in the Workplace?

It bothers you to learn that Mason regards your working relationship this way. Could he be right?  The thing is, he has never expressed any frustration about this. What should your reaction be as a Q4 leader?

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