I remember one company who had hired me to do some consulting had a problem with office gossip.
I noticed in particular how many employees would stop and chat with one particular secretary to exchange the latest company gossip.One way to create more grief and less productivity is to have employees consistently hang around the “Gossip Cooler” at your place of employment. As evidenced by the many gossip column blogs and magazines, some people have an innate interest in learning about and discussing the shortcomings of others. It seems as Earl Nightingale once said, “they seem to get a feeling of importance by putting other people down.”
Another way of looking at it, “when you throw dirt, you lose ground.” Not only do you lose ground, you lose the very essence of life – your time. If you find yourself caught in this kind of office situation, make sure you have a plan to make a clean and prompt exit.
If you sense that the discussion you or your employees are engaged in is headed towards a name bashing of employees or managers, try this strategy:
Wait for a pause in the discussion when you can interrupt yourself and then change the topic of the conversation.
Your comment could sound something like this: “I wasn’t aware of that happening… Oh, by the way I was going through my notes for the ACME project and here is what I suggest…
By having a plan you can avoid much of the office politics that wastes so much of you and your employees time.
|About Tom Borg
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