It's one of the diciest challenges of office politics, one that invades the cubicle farm and executive suite alike: How to deal with workplace whiners.
While it's often best to walk away, that can be difficult in today's team-based workplace, where many people work closely in groups.
Trying to stay neutral by just listening and nodding can also backfire, says Dana Brownlee, founder of Professionalism Matters, a corporate-training firm in Atlanta. "Before you know it, there's another version of the story circulating, saying you were the one saying something negative about the VP. And they're talking about you over by the Coke machine."