Gossip is Poison to Your Team
How to stop gossip from ripping your team’s unity apart
It’s impossible for people to be comfortable working around each other, let alone enjoy each other, when gossip is present. Gossip is inherently degrading; it will divide and destroy
What is gossip?
It is delivering negative information—any
negative information about anyone
—to someone who cannot do something about it.
Dave Ramsey has a motto in his workplace: negatives go up; positives come down. Team members love that. They not only adhere to it; they also enforce it. We are, after all, the real beneficiaries of that policy. We know what we can and cant do with negative information; there is no gray area. Of equal importance, we can point to that rule with pride and cut gossip off before it has a chance to do any damage.
Negative stuff will happen. That’s inevitable. The negatives may be about a person or a process. Either way, they need to be handed to a leader, someone who can do something about them. If you’re mad at your manager, talk to another leader about it. Complaining to your teammates is disloyalty
, and it fosters a negative spirit
that will trash the organization.
If a person needs to be counseled, educated or reprimanded, that’s a leaders job. If a process needs to be changed, that’s also a leaders responsibility. If the situation is really none of the communicators business, then a leader will let him or her know that, too.
However, if someone delivers the same negatives to a peer or tells someone below them on the chain of command, then that’s gossip. Its that simple.
Passing along negative information for the sole purpose of telling someone is gossip. That should never be tolerated in a workplace that strives for unity. Remember, negatives go up; positives come down.
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