Marquis often recommends three approaches for leaders who want to limit gossip: authenticity, accountability and curiosity.
She says that culture starts with policies about respectful communication at work, and this behavior should be both modeled and continually reinforced at orientation for new employees as well as ongoing company meetings. If you discover someone is gossiping or starting rumors, then use such policies to hold people accountable.
You can also maintain an open-door, “any question is welcome” mindset of your own, particularly if you manage other team members. She says this allows you to keep information flowing and gives individuals a chance to bring up tough topics.
“A final practice I’ve found to be successful is at the beginning of a team meeting, I will say something like, ‘Let’s make sure we address all of the topics on today’s agenda in a respectful but candid way,’” says Davis. “In other words, can we all agree that there won’t be any meeting after the meeting, but that everyone will share their opinions and even disagreements here with the entire group?”