Some people consider gossip a bad habit. But it is much worse than that. Many moons ago, a guy named “Apostle Paul” (from Bible fame) included gossips with some pretty bady people: “They have become filled with every kind of wickedness, evil, greed and depravity. They are full of envy, murder, strife, deceit and malice. They are gossips.”
Ouch! C’mon Paul, why so brutal? It’s probably for a good reason. Families have been ruined and business have been shut down by gossip.
In the marketplace, MILLIONS $$$ has been spent to stop gossip. It ends up that there is one (free!) skill that works—more on that in a moment.
In research journals, gossip is called “informal communication.” It means that people are saying things that don’t need to be said. Did you catch my definition?
Gossip isn’t lying! Saying things that are not true… that is called lying. Gossip is saying things that usually are true… they just don’t need to be said!
Research reveals that “…damaging, negative news about rivals” is the most likely form of gossip. That hurts, doesn’t it? One small leadership skill can turn the hurt into healing—if you have the guts to do it.
Here’s the skill: Speak second! And teach others to speak second as well! You see, the second person to speak wins the conversation…
When a small group is talking and someone says, “Joe just doesn’t seem to get it. Will he ever learn?” The next (second) person to speak wins the conversation. If the second speaker says, “I know what you mean. Last week Joe was supposed to give a report…” We can see where that gossip is headed. But if the second speaker says, “I don’t know, Joe might have had a rough patch, but he has been very helpful to me…” Research shows that the conversation will go the direction established by the second person to speak!
THE BOTTOM LINE: The opportunity to limit gossip is critical information for our businesses, friends, homes, and other organizations. It is news you can use; why don’t you try it today?
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