Gossiping is talking about anything negative with someone who can’t help solve the problem.
… Gossiping is the fastest way to destroy the culture and team spirit within a family, organization, and community. Gossiping will burn down a healthy corporate culture like wildfire. Gossip is a potent poison to any team. Leadership expert, Mike Myatt says, “Allowing gossip in the workplace is like encouraging your employees to swim with sharks…Real leaders don’t participate in gossip, and likewise, they don’t tolerate gossip from others. Gossip destroys trust, assails credibility, and is one of the greatest adversaries of a healthy corporate culture. The emotional distress and political discord associated with gossip undermines workplace performance, and can be nothing short of disastrous… Gossip is one of the most divisive undercurrents pervading business today. Gossip allows for the unnecessary dispersion of negative innuendo for the pleasure of a few, and to the detriment of many. Show me a person that participates in gossip and I’ll show you someone who cannot be trusted.” This is true within your family, group of friends, workplace, and community at large.
… Gossiping violates the golden rule, “Do unto others as you’d have them do to you.”
… Gossiping is unloving. It violates the basic human principle of loving others as yourself.
… Bad things will always happen. That is guaranteed. It’s impossible to stop all of them from happening. In a family or organization, people, planning, prioritization, processes, and pacing will fail. The key is how you handle these negative things. We must handle them in a way that builds trust and a team spirit and steers clear of gossip.
… Gossiping is disloyalty and shows a deficiency in character and integrity.
Some Examples of Situations to Avoid
Below are just a few examples to avoid. This is by no means an exhaustive list.
If one department in your company is not functioning well, don’t talk to members of another department when you meet in the break room or as you walk to the parking lot. Talk to the supervisor or leader of that department who should be both willing and able to do something to fix the situation. E.g., if you are having issues with IT, don’t talk to the sales manager about it.
If you are unhappy with a manager, talk to her or to someone senior to her about it.
If a coworker does something wrong, talk to him about it. If you don’t feel comfortable talking to him directly, talk to his supervisor about it. It is not permissible to talk to other coworkers about it. You must also not talk to a supervisor in the presence of others. Another thing you can do is take some time to cool off, sleep over the issue and reflect over it. Pray about it if that is helpful to you. Also, try to see the good in the other person and dwell on thoughts that are positive about them. In your heart, wish them well and passionately desire to see good happen to them. Seek clarity to make sure that you are looking at the situation as you ought to and are not being misled by some unknown prejudice or are not being overly emotional or reactive.
As Dave Ramsey says it, “Negatives go up; positives come down.” Dave’s team members love this motto and do not simply adhere to it, but enforce it because they are, after all, the real beneficiaries of this policy. Like them, we would be able to point to this rule with pride and cut gossip off before it has a chance to do any damage.
Don’t discuss anything negative about the organization, coworkers, and leaders with your family members, friends or other relatives or acquaintances.
Consequences for Gossiping
If a team member is caught gossiping, organizations serious about stemming out gossip give two warnings and after a third incident, they are fired. Members fully intend to honor each other by enforcing these consequences in order to create a gossip free environment that respects and values everyone who works there.
No Gossip Committee
A committee of three or four organization leaders is usually assigned to issue the last warning and oversee dismissal as well.
All members of the team are enforcers of the No Gossip Policy. When someone is discovered gossiping, the person who discovers it should confront the gossiper. After that, she must make a report of the gossip incident along with the gossiper’s response to the No Gossip Committee for evaluation. The committee will evaluate the incident and decide whether or not it should count as one of the three strikes.
Have an agreement with your family or team members and sign a no gossip agreement.
Signing the no gossip policy
By signing below, you agree not to engage in gossip as described above. You are also committing not to listen to gossip and to do everything in your power to enforce this No Gossip Policy and ensure that we have a healthy, no gossip environment that is safe for all staff members to work in.
Signature: _______________________________ Date: ______________________