I love a good gossip session (when it doesn’t involve me, obviously. Is that even fair to say?). And I think it’s perfectly okay when co-workers, who are peers, gossip as a way to relieve stress or bond. But I can not get behind managers who gossip with subordinates about other employees in the office.
When I do see this happen my brain tells me I’m the guest of honour. It doesn’t help when all whispering ceases when I walk by. UGH! I tell myself that the whispering could stop for anyone walking by because gossips don’t want to be heard. DUH!
I think managers who gossip with subordinates about other employees set a dangerous example and can potentially create a negative environment. The weak pact that gets tossed around after something juicy was shared: “You can’t tell anyone this” never works. If the gossip is good, it’ll get shared. That type of gossip can be seen as conspiring against someone, rude, and unprofessional.
Gossiping is a discretionary act. If you choose to partake in it, be mindful of how it might be perceived and how it could affect your professional life.
And as much as I think my boss is a ding dong, she doesn’t engage in gossip with anyone at work. This I can sign up for and admire. I’m sure once she’s away from the office with wine in her hand, her lips do not hold back.
I’m starting a positivity exercise where I refrain from complaining for 21 days to turn it into a habit. It would be great if you could all join me. There are five easy steps to the exercise:
- For two minutes every day, write down three things you are grateful for.
- At the end of each day, for two minutes write down one positive experience during the last 24 hours.
- Sweat it out. Doesn’t matter how.
- Breathe. Stop what you’re doing and just focus on your breathing for two minutes.
- Express kindness and gratitude in the form of email, text, or in-person to someone new every day.