Most people would agree that gossip is toxic to the workplace. Unfortunately most people also have an active role in gossip flourishing.
Although I think some people are fully aware of what they’re doing and why, I believe most people don’t know or understand the role they’re playing when it comes to gossip.
The more I learn about trust, vulnerability and the drama triangle, the more I understand gossip – what it is, why it happens, the impact and what to do instead.
What is gossip?
As for what it is, we’ll defer to the dictionaries:
Examples of gossip behaviors:
Why does gossip happen?
As for why it happens, here’s what I’ve learned:
What’s the impact of gossip?
The problem with gossip is that it erodes trust, undermines connection and fosters a workplace culture that doesn’t feel safe for people.
How do we eliminate gossip?
Here are five practices to help you eliminate gossip in the workplace:
Remember the effectiveness equation: Activity X effectiveness = impact.
For example, for tip 5 you could say “I’m not engaging in gossip with you” but chances are that’s not going to go over well. Instead try, “remember, we have a shared agreement to keep sensitive information in the vault… checking in to see if this is a vault issue” or “it sounds like you have a concern with Joe, what support do you need to address it?”
Although these practices aren’t easy per se, they are simple and straightforward. Next time we’ll dig into the five practices for eliminating gossip.
Schedule a discovery session with StartHuman to get support in eliminating gossip in your workplace.