The importance of the
discretionary grain of salt
The only sure way to prevent gossip is to limit membership in your circle or organization to one or, at the most, two. Otherwise, gossip is inevitable.
Many times in business*, someone has warned me, “Watch out for So-n-So. He will stab you the moment you turn your back.” I have learned to note, log, and proceed with caution while reserving judgment. Sometimes experience proves the accuser correct. Sometimes it proves only a personality clash. And sometimes it proves So-n-So to be trustworthy and the accuser not so much.
Gossip plays an important role in society and the marketplace. It is how reputations are built. Trouble is, it is also how reputations are ruined, and it is not a reliable measure. Worth remembering.
*In my personal life, too, but this is a business blog.