Consistency neutralizes the negative behind office gossip

by on June 29, 2009 · 0 Comment POSTED IN: HR Info Center

People don’t spread office gossip about consistent actions

With my procedures about negating office gossip, try to be as consistent as you can. I think that’s why my standup meetings worked – we did it every morning. Why my office hours worked, it was a sense of consistency. I tell them every morning, “I’ll be in my office from this time to this time and barring some emergency, I was there.

There is a sense especially in tough uncertain times. They can rely on some consistencies.. Do it to one, do it to all. You really want to neutralize the negativity about office gossip, exhibit leadership? Try this. Do it to one, do it to all. Be consistent AND make exceptions – And make exceptions.

And it sounds like double speak of human resource. But here’s the concept. I’m as consistent as I can be with my procedures and I make exceptions. I make exceptions about office gossip based on performance, based on behavior. Not based on age or sex or race.

Be creative and make exceptions
Now, those of you who may have a union environment, boy, this is tougher. You got a get real creative to separate good from bad with that contract. But boy, private sector, we’ve got no excuse for this. Other than, honestly, being a little lazy.

Or now, this honker down, I don’t have time for my people. I got to find better ways to save myself and their jobs. Part of this is getting them involved and making exceptions.

So I got an outstanding employee that needs an exception. I don’t care – to an absenteeism policy, I grant the exception. Then you’re going to create problems? Well, sure. Another employee comes up, “How come you gave it to them?” Well because their sales were better than anybody else’s. “Well, it’s not fair.” “Oh, it’s eminently fair. I’m differentiating based on performance, based on behavior.

Some of us based on our operations have to be a little more creative with that. But these things, very practical, little things you’ll notice go a long way to neutralizing the power of the negativity.

Edited remarks from the Rapid Learning Institute conference Gossip, Gab, and the Grapevine: How to Neutralize its Negative Impact by Hunter Lott

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