It goes on in every organization, and it is not just the bottom row that does it. Gossiping about other people seems to be a corporate pass time that happens everywhere. But does it need to happen in your organization?
While on sight at an organization recently, I overheard two people talking about their manager, and how his management style was lacking. That was all I could stand to listen too, as I find this kind of activity a waste of time and lacks productivity. Later it started to bother me because I realized that one of these people was a manager.
Yes, I put managers on some kind of pedestal that they need to act better than the rank and file. In my mind, managers need to model the behaviors they are always preaching they want, and when they chastise people for gossiping and then do it themselves I want to cringe. Working with HR, I commented without naming names on what I had seen, and nearly lost my teeth when the response was a validation of what they were talking about, not that they were gossiping.
Yikes, the problem is deeper than I thought. Because if you think I put managers on a pedestal, HR folks are supposed to be even better role models in my mind. Yet at this company the guards and inmates are on the same side of the fence. Not a whole lot of hope for changing things until a “leader” steps up and demands better actions.
Gossiping is at its core negative and hurtful, and as fellow employees we should be more supportive. If I was working for this company, I can tell you that I would have chatted with these employees about making better use of conversations. You can bet that the formal policy at this company is all about treating everyone with respect. Yet, we must walk that talk too.
How do you handle gossiping at your company? Do you ignore it, participate, or do you try to change behaviors?