Denial of a problem like office gossip is the first sign they don't want to change

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

Want to cut down on the office gossip and the gab going on at work?

Focus on the good people. We have this tendency. “Okay, (John), you’re a great employee. You’ve been seven habit-ed, you’ve been quality circled, and your cheese has been moved”, all these different things we go through. The ocean is blue if you’re on the bus.

I’m going to totally ignore you. So if you don’t hear from me until next year’s evaluation, know in your heart you’re a good employee. What am I going to be doing? Beating up on (Gladys). She is the one driving us crazy, she’s our problem employee with her office gossip. That’s where I’m spending my time.

Think of the message that that sends. How do you get the supervisor’s attention? Act out. We can be our own worst enemy in many cases when it comes to office

First clue, denial.
You talk to somebody about behavior like office gossip and you get denial. “Not my problem, I don’t know what you’re talking about. It’s not my problem.” Denial. Great clue, your chances of salvaging, slim. Not eliminated, but slim.

Another clue, refusal to act.
Some people are smart enough not to deny to your face. You all work on it, you all work on it. And just get back to your language. “Can I count on your for results and deadlines?” “Yeah, I’ll work on it.” And they do for like six weeks. And then they’re back at it again. You talk to them. They’re good for six weeks. They back at it again. Or they find something more creative to do wrong.

Unproductive work pattern.
This you can use too. If employees start playing games, you know, one week it’s tardiness, one week it’s moaning, another week it’s this, another week it’s that. No one thing is enough but you put this together and use the language “unproductive work pattern”, unproductive behavior pattern.

They’re gone every Wednesday. Now, they’ve got 13,000 sick hours. So you can’t go after them for excessive use of their own time. But I can certainly document the unproductive work pattern. The accountant is absent at month end. You mean every month end? Every month end. This is an unproductive work behavior pattern.

Continual coworker complaints about office gossip.
I mean to you, this employee is just as nice and is wonderful. Hey, we don’t have any attitude. We don’t have any office gossip, none of that kind of problem. But you hear from people you trust.

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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