Have you ever noticed that when you have not put enough time and energy into communicating properly, gossip tends to circulate? I’m not talking about the type of gossip where someone is being unkind behind your back. The type of gossip I am writing about is: communication about others involving unverified details. This kind of gossip often happens on work teams when communication is lacking, when conflict arises or when there’s a power struggle.
What makes avoiding this type of gossip so tough?
- When a team has not established clear decision-making and communication protocol, gossip often “fills in the cracks”, especially when frustration or misunderstandings occur.
- Most of us talk an issue through with a trusted person before bringing it to another person.
- Make sure the person you are engaging with is removed enough from the situation to avoid poisoning a work team.
- The fact is, gossip can often be about things that matter and should be addressed.
- Finding the appropriate venue of communication, using a direct and candid approach is most beneficial.
Why avoid gossip on a work team?
- Gossip can wreak havoc on morale and productivity.
- Gossip can cause resentment and become a barrier to effective communication and teamwork.
Helpful tips to avoid gossip on your team:
- Establish clear expectations regarding decision-making and communication protocol.
- Communicate fully and clearly on a regular basis with those who depend on you for information and/or results.
- Encourage people to go directly to the person impacted by the issue they are discussing with you.
- This is helpful when you are not an involved party or the person has skipped a step in protocol.
Consistently in this blog, I research and write about personal development. The issue of work team gossip is a communication delicacy each of us face and I am no stranger to both sides of it. It's my hope that sharing my ongoing efforts to make self-improvements will also benefit others with similar ambitions.
Peace to you and yours - Jackie