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Productive Conflict – Gossiping

Turning to the Everything DiSC® Productive Conflict Reference Guide on how gossip fits into conflict, it reads:

“Gossiping can feel good for a lot of reasons. First of all, venting our frustrations can be cathartic. And because we tend to gossip with people we trust, they usually validate our opinion. Not to mention, it can be deeply satisfying to tear down someone who has hurt us. But gossip is also about power. It helps rally people to our side. We get our perspective out into the world first and most convincingly. And, for people who are insecure about their status in the organization, gossiping can create a perceived sense of authority as coworkers turn to them for inside knowledge. Ask yourself: Is this about venting or about the satisfaction of finding fault in someone else?"

Water cooler talk isn’t always nice, productive, or accurate. Whether you are the gossiper, or the eager ear to listen to bad mouthing, both parties are contributing to the problem. Even when stories are told truthfully in the beginning, by the time they get around, you can bet juicy details have been added. Gossiping is harmful in every way, to the individual being talked about, to the integrity of the one speaking, and to the organization as a whole, deepening division and interfering with productive actions.

To view the previous blogs in this Productive Conflict series, click the links below:

You can find more information including a video on Everything DiSC® Productive Conflict here:


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