7 Ways to Stop Gossip Vampires

Few leaders do anything about gossip vampires.

Gossip is a tool for personal advantage, self-justification, and helpless complaint.

If relationships produce results, gossip is expensive.

Gossip vampires:

  1. Suck the life out of relationships.
  2. Take the wind out of organizational morale.
  3. Lower results.
  4. Create insiders and outsiders.
  5. Ignite and fuel whining, complaining, and blaming.
  6. Encourage irresponsibility.
  7. Stir up tension and controversy.
  8. Waste time and resources.
  9. Propagate distrust.
  10. Destroy hard earned reputations.

7 ways to stop gossip vampires:

  1. Confront gossip. Bring it up with kind candor and forward-facing curiosity.
  2. Speak to the face, not to the back. If you can’t speak to the face, stop talking.
  3. Don’t bring it up unless you plan to do something. The ONLY reason to open your mouth is to make something better.
  4. Never complain about someone who isn’t in the room. (The exception to this occurs when you’re working to bringing it up to their face.)
  5. Create problem-solving channels.
  6. Build transparent teams and organizations. Secrets fuel gossip.
  7. Talk openly about strengths and weaknesses. Acknowledge that everyone is good at a few things and lousy at many.

Note: The phrase, “How to end gossip,” is over-optimistic and a bit tongue in cheek.

Long-term devastation:

After someone listens to gossip, connections become strained and difficult.

Surprisingly, you might gossip about someone and forget it. The person who hears gossip remembers and makes judgments based on your negative story.

You might resolve your issue but the person who heard your gossip still carries your offense.

You might not know the person being gossiped about but you don’t like or trust them.

Gossip filled teams are dysfunctional and ineffective.

Step one: Stop gossiping yourself. Leaders always go first.

What negative impact has gossip had in your organization?

How might leaders “end” gossip?

Final note: You’re probably a gossip if you think this post is for someone else.