Author: Kristine Goebel
January 18, 2017
It’s about to get real, folks! We’ve all been there. Whether you were the gossip, were gossiped about or heard it at the water cooler, you all know what I’m talking about. I have the privilege of working with many different types of business owners on communication in their workplace. One area that always comes up is gossip. Some workplaces struggle more than others. Regardless of the amount in your office, it needs to be squashed…and quick!
Noun Casual or unconstrained conversation or reports about other people, typically involving details that are not confirmed as being true.
Verb Engage in gossip.
Don’t worry, you’re not alone.
Workplace gossip is not uncommon at all. What gossip does: It derails focus and creates turmoil. Excessive gossip hurts productivity and people. If it goes on long enough, high-performing employees will leave and find a place to work that comes with less emotional strain. Even worse, it could kill your business altogether.
Resolve the conflict.
There are so many misconceptions about conflict. It’s a word that has a bad rap. More often than not, conflict can be resolved easily if we gain perspective. What can be tough for leaders in the workplace is to recognize that you’re not responsible for resolving the problem. You are responsible for teaching your team how to resolve it themselves. Conflict usually remains unresolved because people don’t know how to deal with it.
Identify the root cause.
Managers typically hear gossip second-hand. Don’t believe everything you hear! Gain your perspective directly from the source. If you can identify a specific person, talk with them privately on neutral territory. If you think your whole team may be in on the gossip, work through it in a group setting and open discussion. In every situation, it’s best to avoid making accusations. This will only lead to your teammate(s) becoming defensive. Work on developing an “ask, don’t tell” mentality when you speak with your team. You are more likely to help them discover on their own what the cause of the problem is.
Lead by example.
Ronald Reagan once said, “I’ve always believed that a lot of the trouble in the world would disappear if we were talking to each other instead of about each other.” Our job, as leaders in our company, is just as much about being responsible for the people doing the job, as the job itself. Ask yourself the question, “Who do I have an issue with and what am I doing to resolve it?” If your answer is that you’re talking to others about it, stop there. Go talk to your teammate directly and see if you can resolve it together.
Does any of this ring a bell with you? Not sure where to start? Give me a call or shoot me an email.
(352) 369-1120 ext 106 or email@example.com
Kristine Goebel is the Director of Operations for Lindsay, Crabb and Associates and Lindsay Financial Services.
At The Rethink Collaborative she serves our clients, and others across the nation, as their business coach.
Hear it from a client’s perspective:
“Kristine helped us identify the source of our problems and created a plan for us to work on to create a more efficient workflow… Since then we have better communication with each other, put in place tiers of management, incorporated different behavioral analysis as part of hiring process, and are continuing to do executive coaching with our higher level executives. We appreciate all she’s done and is continuing to do for our team.”
- Darren York, Dataline Systems, Inc