Sunday, 25 September 2011
To Tell or Not To Tell ?
The Gossip Paradox : We all do it. We like to share stories but the trick is to set boundaries at work. A sample of senior vice-presidents of communication at Fortune 500 companies stated that harmful rumours reached their ears on an average of nearly once a week. Gossiping at work is also about passive workplace aggression. Even those in leadership roles indulge in making remarks about others. Be cautious, because that’s how negative reputations are made.
The urge to gossip can get you in trouble. Billionaire Ray Dalio, Wall Street heavyweight, has a new stringent diktat! He’s banning office gossip and sacking employees who are caught gossiping more than three times. His policy is ruthless: If employees are caught tongue-wagging about their bosses or colleagues behind their backs, they get two verbal warnings. It’s an unlucky third time when they get fired on the spot. In the company email, he wrote, “Never say anything about a person you wouldn’t say to him directly. If you do, you are a slimy weasel.” Psychology Today reports, “Gossip is like sex. It is so much fun that people can’t stop themselves from doing it.
Can chitchat help you get ahead?
Even though gossip gets a bad rap, experts also believe that nuanced chitchat may be essential to getting ahead in a career. “If you must be negative, be smart not only about what you say, but also how you say it. Anyone who is an achiever or has good looks or their boss’s favourite will be an easy target. Some disclosures are deliberately spread by senior management in the form of gossip to make people more alert (or so is rumoured).
Edited from Times Life : September 2011.