3 Strategies to Fuel Vitality and Eliminate Gossip

Gossip makes weak leaders feel powerful.

It’s foolish to undermine the people you’re counting on. Strong teams aren’t built by spreading venom, focusing on weaknesses, or dredging up animosity. 

Real leaders don’t feel strong by tearing down others.

the cure for gossip isn't silence it's praising others to others.png

5 drains of gossip:

Complaints about others to others:

  1. Distract focus.
  2. Undermine trust.
  3. Weaken relationships.
  4. Drain vitality.
  5. Lower performance.

Lousy leaders only see what’s broken.

The ability to point out what’s wrong is a weak leader’s paradise. Successful leaders do what works.

The cure for gossip isn’t silence, it’s praising others to others.

3 strategies to fuel vitality and eliminate gossip:

#1. Praise teammates to higher-ups.

Praise others to others.

Take five minutes of your next one-on-one with the boss and praise a team member. Do it at the beginning of your meeting, before you dig into all the problems you need to solve.


  1. Character.
  2. Values.
  3. Effort and energy.
  4. Fit with the team and organization. (Explain why.)
  5. Attitude.
  6. Performance and contribution.
  7. Behaviors. Name specific praiseworthy behaviors. (Most important.)

#2. Invite team members to praise co-workers.

Begin your next one-on-one with a direct report by saying, “Tell me something good about the people you work with.” If they need help, give them the above praise list to get them started.

Ask permission to send a praise email to their co-worker. Compose and send it while they’re in your office.

#3. Send a praise email.

Hi Mary,

I was just talking with Phil and you came up. He said you are ….

Thank you for all the good you do.



Successful leaders strengthen teams and increase vitality. It’s difficult to tear down and strengthen at the same time.

Gossips speak evil of others, leaders speak well.

What are the elements of effective praise?