Posts Tagged ‘Workplace Gossip’

Stay Away From Pot-Stirrers

Monday, January 18th, 2016

If your organization is devoid of pot stirrers, you’re lucky. It seems at least one gets into every organization.

They are not happy unless there is chaos—much of which is created by them. They are your best friend one day and stabbing you in the back, complaining about your competence to your boss the next—all the while having set you up to miss the deadline that they’re complaining to your boss.

They say seemingly innocent statements with a sting like, “I don’t know why you work such long hours—I really value MY family.” Or “Gosh, there has been a lot of turnover here—I wonder who is next.” Or “I suppose we won’t get bonuses this year because the boss just invested in a new machine.”

They tend to have turbulent and unstable relationships at home and at every job they have. They describe almost every boss they ever had as being “untrustworthy” or otherwise evil. Of course, it has little to do with their bosses, but they always need to make somebody wrong and bosses are an easy target. In reality, their projection of their own issues is endless.

The scary part is you think you’re safe to listen to them—they DID of course tell you that you wore a halo. But that’s just part of the manipulation. Behind your back, if not already, real soon, you will be the devil.

They try to make you feel like you are safe to be the recipient of their gossip. In fact, no one is safe around them—you included. Just because they perceive everyone as either with them or against them, being on “their side” today is fragile and you will be the one “against them” as early as tomorrow.

So, what do you do if you have a pot stirrer in your midst?

Next week we’ll cover the four things to do if the toxic impact of a pot-stirrer has entered your organization.

Why Do People Spread Gossip, and Why Do Others Listen?

Sunday, December 28th, 2014

Gossip ruins lives. It’s worth taking some time to study it so you can help rid your workplace of it. And one of the first steps is understanding the reasons that people are such willing participants in it.

Why do people spread gossip? Usually the person spreading rumors has a bad self-image, so they try to pull others down to compensate. Seriously, think about this. If you have gossips in your workplace, are they people who have their stuff together? I’m not talking about the bluster and confidence on the surface, but what’s really inside. Are they grounded and satisfied? Not bloody likely, or they wouldn’t feel the need to level the playing field.

According to workplace research, the content of gossip is 80 percent inaccurate. That’s the proof that the real intention is to hurt others, not to solve a problem, even if they pretend otherwise.

Gossip is a two-way transaction, of course. So why do people listen to it? Two reasons: First, they want to feel “in on it,” partly so they aren’t on the receiving end of it. I hate to tell you – that will not protect you. If you keep gossip alive as a part of your workplace culture, it’s like feeding a rattlesnake and letting it roam the halls. Eventually it’ll bite you too.

Second, people listen because they too like the little thrill of supposedly putting themselves above someone else. They’ll tell themselves they aren’t the kind of person who would start it, but what’s the harm in listening in? Plenty, of course, because gossip needs an audience to stay alive.

Understanding the motivations of the gossips and their audiences is an important step in fixing the problem for good.

So what about you? Are you part of the solution—or part of the problem?

If you participate in the gossip game—whether as pitcher or catcher—call it quits. You know better. If the Queen of England came to your home today, you’d act better, wouldn’t you? Well, act better right now. Be the person your dog thinks you are. If you’re the one with a poor self-image, it will do a lot for your self-esteem to keep your nose clean from gossip. If you don’t, you are virtually guaranteed to come to a really bad day and maybe even lose your job. One way or another, the result is always ugly.

So make a commitment here and now to rise above it all.

Gossip… A Leading Indicator of an Upcoming Pink Slip

Thursday, April 14th, 2011

If you’re looking to shoot your own job security in the foot during this insecure time, there’s no better way than to get down in the mud with the worst of your coworkers.

Kill the REAL Cancer of the Workplace: Put Workplace Dysfunction on Chemo

Thursday, January 20th, 2011

When you think of a dysfunctional organization, you might picture a lot of screaming and yelling. That’s not pleasant to be around—but it’s also not the most destructive thing a workplace can endure. Real dysfunction has very little that has to do with raised voices.