Triangulation turns gossip in the workplace to a quantifiable behavior

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

Gossip in the workplace is measurable when turned into triangulation

Now, specific behaviors like gossip in the workplace, can we deal with them? I love this next one: triangulation. This is straight from a company handbook. They were dealing with gossip.

You know, and you say, “Well, no gossip in the workplace?” Well, what does that mean exactly? It’s kind of like attitude. So this company said, “You know, we’re going to define what it is that drives us crazy.”

Defining an issue like gossip in the workplace allows managers to take action
This is one of the most serious company offenses. Triangulation is simply having an issue with someone and talking about it with somebody else. Conflict is to be expected, people are going to have issues. It’s human nature.

Here’s how we’re going to deal with it. If you have an issue with someone, talk about it with them directly. Have the conversation. Don’t just fail to express something and talk about it behind their backs. That’s so junior high.

They have taken this “attitude” that all of us are familiar with and we’ve all worked around somebody like this. And said, you know, this is actionable. We’re just not going to tolerate this. It’s not in the company’s, the customer’s, or coworker’s best interest.

So they specifically define gossip in the workplace. There’s triangulation. Put it in the handbook. Everybody signs the handbook so they know it’s there and they enforce it. And you’re going to see back to basics. Communicate expectations, hold people accountable.

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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