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8/26/2016 New Managers: 5 Ways To Stop Negative Office Gossip http://www.forbes.com/sites/lisaquast/2013/10/14/newmanagers5waystostopnegativeofficegossip/print/ 1/3 entreleadership.com EntreLeadership 1-Day Grow Yourself, Your Team, and Your Profits. Get the Livestream or Join Us in Kansas City! http://blogs.forbes.com/lisaquast/?p=2159 LEADERSHIP 10/14/2013 @ 4:00AM 123,347 views New Managers: 5 Ways To Stop Negative Office Gossip (Photo: Microsoft Free Clip Art) Being a new manager can be tough because it often includes stepping into situations that are outside your comfort zone, such as handling negative office gossip. Dealing directly and swiftly with the perpetrators, meeting with your staff and encouraging positive gossip (not the negative kind) can help turn things around. As a new manager, it’s your job to ensure the department achieves all of its goals and objectives. This can be difficult to do if you’re stepping into a situation where workplace gossiping has been allowed to run rampant. The good news: Being new to your managerial role is the best time to get to the bottom of what’s going on and then put a stop to it. Why Negative Gossip is Harmful Negative gossip can create productivity issues (because employees feel the need to engage in CYA behavior), morale issues (because employees come to distrust each other and the management team), employee engagement and turnover issues (because highperforming employees will look for jobs elsewhere), even liability issues when pervasive gossip is deemed “malicious harassment.” How To Stop Negative Office Gossip Tip #1 – Address the specific perpetrators. Your first action should be to stop negative gossip on a personal level by directly addressing the key gossipers oneonone. Do this in a confidential location and not where others can overhear the discussion, such as a conference room with a door you can shut. You goal is to help the person understand the impact of their behavior and the consequences of what will happen if their bad behavior continues (such as a written warning that will go into their personnel file, demotion, loss of job, etc.). Tip #2 – Meet with your entire team. After addressing the specific perpetrators individually, the next step is to discuss the situation with your entire team. This can be done by including Lisa Quast Contributor I write about career topics, helping people maximize their potential. Opinions expressed by Forbes Contributors are their own.
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  • 8/26/2016 New Managers: 5 Ways To Stop Negative Office Gossip

    http://www.forbes.com/sites/lisaquast/2013/10/14/newmanagers5waystostopnegativeofficegossip/print/ 1/3

    entreleadership.com

    EntreLeadership 1-DayGrow Yourself, Your Team, and Your Profits.Get the Livestream or Join Us in Kansas City!

    http://blogs.forbes.com/lisaquast/?p=2159

    LEADERSHIP  10/14/2013 @ 4:00AM  123,347 views

    New Managers: 5 Ways To Stop NegativeOffice Gossip

    (Photo: Microsoft Free Clip Art)

    Being a new manager can be toughbecause it often includes stepping intosituations that are outside yourcomfort zone, such as handlingnegative office gossip. Dealing directlyand swiftly with the perpetrators,meeting with your staff andencouraging positive gossip (not thenegative kind) can help turn thingsaround.

    As a new manager, it’s your job to ensure the departmentachieves all of its goals and objectives. This can be difficult to doif you’re stepping into a situation where workplace gossipinghas been allowed to run rampant. The good news: Being new toyour managerial role is the best time to get to the bottom ofwhat’s going on and then put a stop to it.

    Why Negative Gossip is Harmful

    Negative gossip can create productivity issues (becauseemployees feel the need to engage in CYA behavior), moraleissues (because employees come to distrust each other and themanagement team), employee engagement and turnover issues(because highperforming employees will look for jobselsewhere), even liability issues when pervasive gossip isdeemed “malicious harassment.”

    How To Stop Negative Office Gossip

    Tip #1 – Address the specific perpetrators. Your firstaction should be to stop negative gossip on a personal level bydirectly addressing the key gossipers oneonone. Do this in aconfidential location and not where others can overhear thediscussion, such as a conference room with a door you can shut.You goal is to help the person understand the impact of theirbehavior and the consequences of what will happen if their badbehavior continues (such as a written warning that will go intotheir personnel file, demotion, loss of job, etc.).

    Tip #2 – Meet with your entire team. After addressing thespecific perpetrators individually, the next step is to discuss thesituation with your entire team. This can be done by including

    Lisa Quast Contributor

    I write about career topics, helping people maximize their potential.

    Opinions expressed by Forbes Contributors are their own.

    https://www.googleadservices.com/pagead/aclk?sa=L&ai=CszC-3OzAV6OXBYbtiQOJoKqwAdituLlGyoLaxawDuoGjrPAFEAEg_tT1F2DJ9viGyKOgGaABvKzn_gPIAQngAgCoAwHIAwqqBPEBT9C9aFgPnOu1bgvKtXbExSd3KsT_5xUnA7qw8kem5HPag12nCLrtuD55J7l8ndHpdKJ7bOg0ZGLR-iXSwsduIO5Vlc7VQm2fLWdLtU_X4_Yjj4hSpbf7HlissQ2HTn4CyevzfPpbYnT8ZHTWKs3Sv01MrpmGBJGb39AhagSHluzsHCN54lY-gKQxmjz6HzlXsipZJIxmBJdixG_L-qsJCk-JfCbRj21Tj9XYwBWhRQ8epXCz3GYB_BW0LZZqvneah-nE-RQUln1Pz_iBQ-CA-dIP6nD0yC0H4MuC2OIEuGxhkRAN4lXQtvbWE_SwTl1LxOAEAYgGAaAGLoAHrNOYAagHgcYbqAemvhvYBwDYEwI&num=1&cid=CAASEuRoq3XS957V77virrE01W0Rmw&sig=AOD64_17oE-qH69ABTawUPOqn5ebJqhd9Q&client=ca-pub-4111763448220873&adurl=https://www.entreleadership.com/e1d%3Fectid%3D30.21.5545http://www.forbes.com/http://blogs.forbes.com/lisaquast/?p=2159http://www.forbes.com/leadershiphttps://www.googleadservices.com/pagead/aclk?sa=L&ai=CRfHB3OzAV-nZBdOYigOUsqHICIX61-JFu8G0hskBnbCD7AEQASD-1PUXYMn2-IbIo6AZoAGl9JPdA8gBAuACAKgDAcgDmQSqBPUBT9Az7lGC1gwrIcpyN3ef2bkZMSp4nfMOeVKfLQtYE9GNETW-DSzhLpdQIEP17DQ3FXZPyYP5giXr-3Y8uJV-u_aowj047PhL-YlRhWPduOwCKpHtDkBXcEz4yGLZFUWiUsdOL8M_A02inheHTttc4Vb2xTHtxj1cl0qpq41qV_9lCIuv_2egqu3zmbOV3kOb8P4YewKlSubbJm-WBlrhBR2wPG7MEmPoX211CE7pjH9xbaisRrUGnTm5lSXzRNpVoRtvuXUwLM1bxwLJOqnnGDXpPsqB1LDn_1OrrtFCHlRZQiiQYqpVDxTPJMANaVL_1f6DKfjgBAGIBgGgBgKAB8OL7CKoB4HGG6gHpr4b2AcB2BMC&num=1&cid=CAASEuRo9SaQ09mxqrwHxIpZp8JqXQ&sig=AOD64_1O6619E0oq6tGk_B9pABlg7ppcyg&client=ca-pub-4111763448220873&adurl=http://www.interviewsuccessformula.com/interview-answers.phphttp://www.forbes.com/sites/lisaquast/http://www.forbes.com/sites/lisaquast/

  • 8/26/2016 New Managers: 5 Ways To Stop Negative Office Gossip

    http://www.forbes.com/sites/lisaquast/2013/10/14/newmanagers5waystostopnegativeofficegossip/print/ 2/3

    “gossip” as a topic for discussion in a staff meeting and helpingthe team understand the differences between negative gossipand positive gossip and the ramifications of each. Then, workwith your team to change the department culture to one thatencourages positive gossip.

    Tip #3 – Encourage positive gossip. Positive gossip canactually be good for companies and employees. This is whenmanagers and employees share positive stories. An example is amedical device company communicating personal stories of thelives saved by the automated external defibrillator the companymakes – which can help employees feel proud of where theywork, thus improving morale and helping reduce turnover.Positive gossip can also be about individual employees, such assharing actions where employees went out of their way to help acustomer or communicating (departmentwide or evencompanywide) when an employee comes up with aphenomenal product or product improvement idea that resultsin a patent. Take time at every staff meeting to share positivegossip stories to encourage positive behavior.

    Tip #4 – Model the behavior you want to see. As a newmanager, if you previously gossiped in the break room withothers, that behavior must stop. Employees will look to you forwhat behaviors are acceptable and unacceptable, and you needto ensure you are “walking the talk” at all times and leading byexample. Changing yours and others’ bad habits isn’t easy, butonce you do so you may just find that your department becomesthe role model for other departments throughout the company.

    Tip #5 – this one is a “Don’t.” Something I don’t encourageis trying to stop negative office gossip at an allemployee level,such as by sending out an email blast to all employees that“office gossip won’t be tolerated” or trying to address the issueduring an all company meeting. Doing so generally isn’teffective because it fails to address the specific offenders – andoften causes good employees to shake their heads and wonderwhy the management team is conflict averse. Instead, providemanagers with training on dealing with conflict and encourageall managers to address negative gossipers immediately anddirectly.

    Bottom Line: Allowing negative workplace gossip to flourish canlead to a culture of distrust and negatively impact productivity,morale, engagement and turnover – not to mention increase thecompany’s legal liability. New managers should act quickly –unless stopped, pervasive negative gossip can be like a diseasethat spreads, wreaking havoc throughout a department (andeven throughout a company).

    ~ Lisa Quast

    Speak up! Join me on Twitter and Facebook

    Photo credit: Microsoft Free Clip Art

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  • 8/26/2016 New Managers: 5 Ways To Stop Negative Office Gossip

    http://www.forbes.com/sites/lisaquast/2013/10/14/newmanagers5waystostopnegativeofficegossip/print/ 3/3

    This article is available online at: http://blogs.forbes.com/lisaquast/?p=2159 2016 Forbes.com LLC™   All Rights Reserved

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