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Rumors in the Workplace – Stop Unethical Gossip

Working Resources is a San Francisco Bay Area Firm Executive Coaching Helping  Companies Assess, Select, Coach and Retain Emotionally Intelligent Leaders; Strategic Talent Management; Leadership Development; Competency Modeling; Succession Management; and Leadership & Team Building Retreats

Dr. Maynard Brusman
Consulting Psychologist and Executive Coach

Rumors in the Workplace 

Always aim at complete harmony of thought and word and deed. Always aim at purifying your thoughts and everything will be well– Mahatma Gandhi

I recently spoke with the VP of Human Resources of a San Francisco Bay Area company regarding providing executive coaching for the company CEO. She asked some very insightful questions to determine fit. She specifically wanted to know how I worked with different personality styles, and my methods for initiating changes in thinking and behavior.

The VP of HR and I spoke about my approach to coaching, and my belief that possessing a psychological understanding of human behavior based on neuroscience and business acumen are important competencies for coaching executives. We also spoke of the need for her organization to create a culture where innovation and creativity flourishes.

The VP of HR is interested in partnering with me in helping create a collaborative and emotionally intelligent corporate culture based on openness and respect. We further discussed how company executives can benefit by working with a seasoned executive coach.

Ethical Behavior

Every day all of us face ethical dilemmas. Ethics has to do with our conduct and character. Some people call character the collection of our daily habits, the things we do without thinking. But ethics really has to do with making conscious behavior choices. In any situation, we have to decide what the best action to take is.

We can ask ourselves, "What is the right thing to do?" How we make that decision determines what kind of person we are. If you operate under the “Ethics of Care” system, and you care about human beings, gossip is unethical, gossip hurts people.


In today's world, individuals can make a single decision that can have a profoundly positive or negative effect on their family, their employer, coworkers, a nation, and even on the entire world. The life we lead reflects the strength of a single trait: our personal character. Personal ethics are different for each person but for the most part, people want to be known as a good person, someone who can be trusted. Most people are concerned about their relationships and personal reputations."

When a person hears gossip about someone else, whether they personally know that person or not, they form an image of the person in their mind. This damages the talked about person’s reputation. If the listener were to hear something else about the person or meet them, the gossip almost always comes back to mind.

Gossip consumes society. Just think about all the stories that you read on the internet.  Many of the stories are simply not true. Society balances itself through the honest exchange of ideas, but when exaggeration, misrepresentation, slander, and misuse of the internet come into play, gossip becomes a malicious exchange.

Is there a time in your life when someone had gossiped or spread rumors about you? How did you feel when that happened? After that, would you then gossip or talk about someone else? As a society, we need to end unethical gossip and bcome more mindful and compassionate. None of us need or deserve judgment.

Are you working in a company where executive coaches provide leadership development for emotionally intelligent leaders? Does your organization provide executive coaching for leaders? Sustainable leaders tap into their emotional intelligence and social intelligence skills to create a more compelling future.

One of the most powerful questions you can ask yourself is “What should be done about gossip and spreading rumors at work?” Emotionally intelligent and socially intelligent organizations provide executive coaching as part of their leadership development programs.

Working with a seasoned cognitive executive coach and leadership consultant trained in emotional intelligence and incorporating assessments such as the Bar-On EQ-I, CPI 260 and Denison Culture Survey can help leaders end unethical gossip in the workplace. You can become a leader who models emotional intelligence and social intelligence, and who inspires people to become fully engaged with the vision, mission and strategy of your company.

About Dr. Maynard Brusman

Dr. Maynard Brusman is a consulting psychologist, executive coach and trusted advisor to senior leadership teams. He is the president of Working Resources, a leadership consulting and executive coaching firm. We specialize in helping San Francisco Bay Area companies and law firms assess, select, coach, and retain emotionally intelligent leaders.  Maynard is a highly sought-after speaker and workshop leader. He facilitates leadership retreats in Northern California and Costa Rica. The Society for Advancement of Consulting (SAC) awarded Dr. Maynard Brusman "Board Approved" designations in the specialties of Executive Coaching and Leadership Development.

For more information, please go to, write to, or call 415-546-1252.

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