How to deal with false rumors at work

How to deal with false rumors at work

Don’t engage

If you hear a rumor about yourself, the worst thing you can do is engage with the person spreading the rumor. This will only give them more ammunition to use against you. Instead, try to stay calm and avoid getting defensive.

You may want to speak to a trusted friend or colleague if the rumor is damaging or hurtful. This can help you get some perspective and figure out how to best deal with the situation.

In some cases, it may be appropriate to speak to your boss about the rumors. This should only be done if the rumors are causing you stress or impacting your work in some way. It would help if you were also prepared to share evidence that the rumors are false.

Speak to your boss

If you’re dealing with false rumors at work, the first person you should talk to is your boss. Tell them if the rumor impacts your work performance or causes you distress. It’s important to keep them in the loop so they can help address the situation if necessary.

Your boss may be able to help you get to the bottom of the rumor and figure out who started it. If they cannot do that, they may be able to stop it by speaking to the person who started it or communicating with the team about why rumors are harmful and shouldn’t be spread.

Sometimes, it may be best to let your boss know about the rumor but not take further action. This can be true if the rumor is about something that isn’t work-related or if it’s not impacting your life significantly. In these cases, it’s usually best to ignore it and move on.

Set the record straight

If you hear a rumor about yourself that you know to be false, don’t ignore it. The longer you wait, the more credibility it will gain. The best way to deal with a false rumor is to address it head-on.

Talk to the person who started the rumor if you can identify them. Tell them you’ve heard the rumor and it’s not true. If they have any decency, they’ll be embarrassed and will do their best to set the record straight.

If you can’t identify the source of the rumor, talk to your boss or another trusted colleague. Let them know what’s happening and ask for their help squashing the rumor.

If all else fails, take the issue to human resources. This should be a last resort, but if the rumor is causing undue stress or affecting your work performance, HR can take appropriate action.

Keep it professional

If you’re dealing with false rumors at work, the best thing you can do is to keep it professional. This means not retaliating against the person spreading the rumors and not letting the rumors affect your work performance. If possible, try to talk to the person spreading the rumors and get them to stop. If you can’t do that, or if the rumors are affecting your work, you may need to talk to a supervisor or HR.

Let it go

If the rumor is not harmful and you know it’s not true, sometimes the best thing to do is to ignore it. If you can, try to let it go. Chances are, if you don’t give the rumor any attention, it will die on its own.