Why gossip is good for business, it’s about using it for your benefit. I know it’s been known not to be, read my story of how I used it to benefit an organization.
Many years ago when I was hired to do Operations like an ED for a non-profit, one of the many things was to improve the culture of this workplace. Of all the employees, customers and everyone else who were barely hanging on was to bring it alive again.
It was a Equi-Sports Centre, where horse lessons were given, horse boarding and other activities offered.
After finding out what was happening and listening to people to understand what was going on, a board member comes to me to ask or say to me, “The people who hired you for for this job didn’t tell you everything, did they?”
No, they didn’t.
There was much to do. I asked her for her support. Elaine was another volunteer board member my receptionist who supported me through the process.. (we are still friends today).
The funny thing about people when there isn’t any communication, they start to ask questions, make assumptions about what’s going on, disrupt wherever they can in a negative way.
This is usually very negative and hurtful gossip. With this organization, in less than 24 hrs, you would hear about things that were being said – in a very hurtful and untrue statements about what I was doing and other people were up to.
It’s like when we are kids we share one thing and by the time it gets to the last person it’s not anything you said.
I had a staff meeting after my listening to everyone. I just told them that most of you don’t want to be here, because of the lack of appreciation, poor wages and not a positive place to be. I understood that, I’m working with the board about increasing the wages, hiring more people and considering what else they need to do their jobs.
Gossip, “I can’t stop you from gossiping.” From now on we are going to catch each other doing something nice and caring – gossip about this. If something wasn’t positive and it just became negative – I would be speaking with them again, one on one. It was amazing, people started sharing good news, catch someone being kind and sharing it.
If Elaine said, “so and so said this“… I would say “Did they tell you directly?” She would say “no, she overheard it“. I would say, back to her, “I don’t want to hear about it, as it was negative gossip.”
It took a bit for people to grasp and switch it around. Once they started to feel good about being at the center, more people came back to board their horses, sign up for classes and other exciting things happened.
I was surprised that the President of the Board came to me to say,” I didn’t have permission to do this.” What?? I told her, I was hired to turn-out the organization and this is what I am doing. I thought it was a strange thing to say to me, likely it came from another staff member who didn’t like what I was doing or how I was doing it.
Why would I say Gossip is good for business? Rather than saying you can’t do it, I just used it to my advantage. And now I am going to ask you to gossip and share the upcoming Kindness Conference 2020, happening in July.
People want to feel that they are part of something bigger, the only way they can be, in including them in the conversations, listening to their ideas, they want to be heard. If not, Negative Gossip tends to appear, when people aren’t being heard. Why not, just listen to each other? Use gossip for good.
According to Wiki
Gossip is a mass medium or rumor, especially about the personal or private affairs of others; the act is also known as dishing or tattling.
Gossip has been researched in terms of its origins in evolutionary psychology, which has found gossip to be an important means for people to monitor cooperative reputations and so maintain widespread indirect reciprocity. Indirect reciprocity is a social interaction in which one actor helps another and is then benefited by a third party.
Let it work for you in a positive and kind way, you’ll find wonderful and great things will work for you too!