Gossip culture is the fastest way to destroy any corporate culture. There is no nice way to say this. Allowing your employees to gossip about each other is like letting them swim in river full of alligators. Good leaders don’t participate in gossip and they don’t tolerate when others gossip.
Gossip not only destroys trust, assassin credibility and is like termite for corporate culture, it also gives emotional stress to many employees and politics discords that brings down the employee morale at workplace and effects work performance. Following the writing below you will see on how tittle tattle effects work culture, how leadership impacts on gossiping and how it can be controlled.
The first question that anyone should ask is for the leader, top management. What kind of culture you want to propose for your workplace? A culture of doubt or culture of leadership? If one thinks that being involved in gossip or gossiping about your own team on a smoking pod or by the water cooler is way to be informed or plugged in, then this is an example of really poor leadership. If you desire to have to have healthy culture at workplace it is essential that you nip the gossip bud the moment it begins.
Gossip allows unnecessary negative emotions for the pleasure of few. People who participates in gossip consider themselves to be politically savvy but it is quality of a very insecure human, for short term gossip and fun, they bring down morale of others. This is indication of low self-esteem and insecurity. There have been trends lately that support office gossip as an opportunity to gather business information or build relationships but these theories no matter how flashy or interesting they sound, in reality they don’t do any good at all in fact it’s a very poor way to rationalize ill character at workplace. Gossip is not idle, cute or innocent, it creates unnecessary tension between peers, trust issues among team members and outrageous conflict that are very difficult to tackle.
You can only build good and healthy relationship with your employees with trust and ability to make good decision about how you can address these issues. If you are involved in gossip or you support it or turn a blind eye towards the situation, you are not doing any of the above. Rather than controlling the gossip if you ask the employee to not feel bad about being a target is like turning a blind eye towards the situation. It’s one of the most toxic traits of workplace.
Nothing can pollute office culture and bring out tainted professional reputation more than gossip. If you have any concerning issue with a team mate, employee or any other person, the best thing is to directly go to the source and share your concern in a positive way rather than involving other people and discussing issue or situations. If I would encounter this sort of issue I would rather talk to the person directly. This is common courtesy and a decent way to solve the issue. If you do find the necessity to seek wisdom of a third person try to not point a finger on who you are discussing the issue about, just ask in general or ask someone who is not involve in your workforce.
Gossip is destructive either ways, either you are the source, you are participating in it or you choose to turn a blind eye towards it. If a person walks in to you with such an issue immediately help and resolve it rather than fostering the problem.
If you want to stay in business for long term by maintaining healthy state of mind for yourself and others I would recommend not gossiping about others and get rid of those who do. The thing to remember is that the individuals who gossip with you about others will also gossip about you!
Many of us debate that eliminating gossip is not possible and you will find it wherever you go as its part of basic human nature to discuss others. The old saying “it is what it is” was said by many of my colleagues when I decided to leave a toxic work place where very little to nothing was done on gossip culture. This only works if you don’t think about making a difference.
Thoughts on leaders at workplace.
As a leader if you don’t allow the gossip thrown at your direction but you allow others in organization to gossip about others. What does this say about you? And your leadership style? If your corporate has gossip culture and you are not aware about it or you chose not to be aware about it then clearly you don’t know what’s happening right under your nose in your own organization. Addressing your employees about morals, dignity and integrity are like shallow and empty qualities you lack and such disassociation is addressed towards disconnected leadership style.
Lastly, even if you as leader yourself are not involved in office gossip but allow people under you to gossip, you yourself are accomplish towards bringing low morale, casting away good employees from workforce and killing healthy and safe workplace culture.