Think you're above listening to back-fence talk about the VP's secret affair?
Susan RoAne, author of The Secrets of Savvy Networking, says this could hurt you in the long run. According to her, 80 percent of the time, people are talking about work-related issues, and the employee who turns a blind eye to office gossip could miss out on important information. Cultivating the grapevine can help you know about the company's upcoming policies, and "can provide you with a great deal of information, including rumours, many of which become fact," says RoAne.
The solution: get the most out of the dirt without getting your hands grubby by keeping your own mouth shut. When someone dishes out the latest 'scoop', acknowledge the juicy news, give it the benefit of doubt, and resist the temptation to tell someone else even if they promise, no swear, that they will never repeat it to anyone else.