I’m Pro-Gossip!

Why is Mary suddenly wearing so much make-up? You don’t think something is going on between her and Andrew from accounting, do you?

Jonathan and David have been at each other for days. I heard David owes Jonathan a large amount of money. Do you think that has something to do with it? I do.

Our team likes to gossip, especially about each other. Jonathan and David’s constant bickering made for a good week of water cooler talk for the rest of us. And Mary’s new dose of make-up…well, that piece of gossip could go on for days…if all goes well.

What is it about gossip that’s so entertaining? Is it having secret information about somebody else? Is it knowing something that not everyone else knows? Or is it an inclusionary thing where only the privileged get to be privy to certain information?

I don’t know for sure, but I’d much rather be a participant in the gossip than the focus of it. Know what I mean?

But does being an active gossiper prevent being gossiped about?

Maybe not completely but I’d say it helps. You see, gossiping is a sort of Rights of Passage in the world of group dynamics. The more you gossip about others, the more power and influence you obtain within the group. And the more power and influence you obtain, the more insulated you become. Soon the gossip starts coming to you for approval. When this occurs, you know you’ve made it to the top. You own the water cooler.

It’s a beautiful system.

The converse is true as well. Failure to actively participate in the verbal denigration of individuals on your team, most importantly behind their backs, could prove to be costly. First, you’ll be ostracized from the group. Second, you’ll become the gossip. Third, team members will purposely try to trigger you so that they can exaggerate what happens and thus earn gossip points when talking about you at the water cooler. And finally, failure to participate could lead to a promotion within the company. Why is that a bad thing you ask? Because then you’d have to manage the very derelicts that you’ve worked so hard disassociating yourself from…that’s why.  Talk about getting off to a bad start!

Are you starting to see the importance of gossip and a strong rumor mill? I certainly do. In fact, I think there needs to be much more of it in our companies. After all, we need to build and sustain teams. We need to bring people together for a common cause…even if that’s you.

So instead of using a facilitator to do the trust fall or a sharing activity for your next team building, simply start a good rumor instead…the juicier the better. This way you’ll save a lot of money and essentially get the same result. Plus, you’ll have a ton of short-term, superficial friends to boot…at least until the next piece of gossip emerges.

And really, what could be better than that!

 

-Sarcastically Geese

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