Give or take many factors, the majority of adults consume a couple thousand calories a day. Even though most of us consume similar calorie counts, our health results differ vastly depending on the food choices we make.
Despite the fact that many of us make poor eating choices, nobody would argue that we should stop eating all together.
Yet, almost everyone has heard time and time again that they shouldn’t gossip in the workplace (even though most of us still do). I define “gossip” as anytime we speak about someone when they aren’t present.
Giving up gossip shouldn’t be our goal, since positive gossip (just like good food choices) can be a real win. Here are three excellent ways to gossip if you, like me, are looking for some better options:
1. Highlight A Core Talent
My friend and colleague Nancy who I’ve worked with for many years has a real gift for making instant, warm connections with people. I often point out to others how talented she is in this area and explain to people that I like having her along at meetings since she is much better at breaking the ice than I am.
Identify at least one core talent for each person that you interact with regularly. When you the opportunity comes up to coach someone else on that talent, use that person’s name and cite a recent example.
2. Tell A Success Story
A leader in a client organization I’ve served is especially adapt at this action. In just about every meeting I’ve seen him facilitate, he mentions a recent success in another part of the organization – often by someone not present at the meeting.
While I’m sure people appreciate hearing great things about themselves later through the grapevine, I’ve also noticed that my already impression of this leader is further enhanced each time I see him do this. Telling other’s success stories when they’re not around makes a great impression on many people…even those who the story isn’t about.
3. Surprise Them With A Thank You
I’ve now worked in the professional training industry for almost a decade. One thing that is always true when arranging logistics for clients is that there are always people who aren’t part of the training event who do a lot of work before and after to make it a success.
While I’ve missed tons of opportunities to do this, on a few occasions I’ve made the point to point out the contributions that someone not present made in order to help the event or program be a success – and then asked everyone present to thank that person when they see them. Not everybody takes this action of course, but the people that do always make that person’s day.
Gossip can be as positive or negative as we make it. Genuine and kind words about others when they aren’t present is a path towards building strong and trusting relationships.
[reminder]Which of these three actions above will you take to bring positive gossip into the workplace?[/reminder]