Gossip, or How to Ruin a Business

Leaders beware. Nothing can claim more tainted professional reputations, destroyed friendships, and polluted corporate cultures than gossip, says business consultant Mike Myatt.

What's the Latest Development?

Gossip is one of the most divisive undercurrents pervading business today, says consultant Mike Myatt. Throughout his long career in the business world, he has seen nothing more poisonous than what he describes as 'talking about a situation with somebody who is neither a part of the solution or a part of the problem.' The presence of gossip in the workplace is essentially a question of leadership, he says. As a leader, what kind of corporate culture do you want to create? One based on leadership or one based on doubt?

What's the Big Idea?

How can leaders eradicate gossip from the workplace? First and foremost, refuse to participate. Thought it might be tempting to get what appears to be the inside scoop, remember that if someone is gossiping to you, they are probably willing to gossip about you. Should someone come to you with a concern about a third party, suggest that person speak directly to whoever the problem concerns. If that is not satisfactory, "offer to accompany the person with the problem in addressing the individual they have an issue with."

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