Executive coaching, skills development, training and consulting in high stakes communication

Gossip – high fructose corn syrup

William Blake said “A truth that’s told with bad intention beats all the lies you can invent”

To me, Gossip is the high fructose corn syrup of communication.  It may taste sweet but it will rot you on the inside!

People use gossip as a way of building rapport or establishing common ground – to trade confidential information. However, It can be a risky currency.  You never know who you are talking to – how they feel, how much they know or what their experience has been.

Last week I was reminded of how important it is to take the high ground when you are faced with someone who gossips. Gossip happens when someone is bored, malicious or fearful and the high ground is ignoring it or  refocusing the offender. They need to know you won’t play.

Confront it:

“John, I would rather talk about Fred when he is in the room”

or

Send a message by using silence:

Ignore it

or

Probe it – “is this first, second or third hand information?”

Whatever you do, keep your heart in the high ground and don’t participate in gossip.

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