Posts Tagged ‘how to stop gossip’

Day 61: How to Lead by THE BOOK: How to Stop Gossip!

Tuesday, September 7th, 2010

In, How to Lead by THE BOOK I will present several momentum-breakers common in most organizations. These are inhibitors to success that demoralize others, dilute focus, and distract from the primary business at hand. Momentum-breakers stop progress in its tracks, and can eventually reduce a results-orientation to a maintenance mode or fight for survival.

There are numerous potential momentum-breakers in the day-to-day life of any organization. One I will focus on today is gossip. This seemingly harmless drivel can cause confusion, resentment, create factions, and deplete the energies of those spewing it, listening to it, and contemplating it. Take a look at what THE BOOK has to say about this sort of reckless speech:

But shun profane and idle babblings, for they will increase to more ungodliness. And their message will spread like cancer. 2 Timothy 2:16.

Notice here that the gossip itself isn’t even the worse element of the act. It’s the certainty that the “idle babblings” will increase to even more ungodliness; bitterness, resentment, envy, and outright lies for starters.

But I say to you that for every idle word men may speak, they will give account of it in the day of judgment. For by your words you will be justified, and by your words you will be condemned. Matthew 12:36-37.

“Idle words” can be categorized as useless, unnecessary, or careless.

Sometimes people gossip about a person they envy. Another reason someone gossips is to make themselves look better at the expense of someone else. This sort of self-centered attitude is dangerous, as is pointed out in James 3:16: For where envy and self-seeking exist, confusion and every evil thing are there. Do you grasp the potential for problems when you see a phrase like, “every evil thing.” “Every” means: all, excluding none. That doesn’t bode well for team unity, focus, or results.

Many people who do not gossip personally, enjoy listening to it! Listening to gossip makes you an enabler, and renders you little better than the gossip himself! Some Christians have gotten sneaky about how to gossip. They say things like, Word on the street is that John is having an affair with Mary. Please pray for them. What a load of nonsense! If you’re truly concerned about the situation, go talk to John or Mary, not about them!

If someone comes to you with gossip, you can turn it aside by saying something like this:

1. “Wow! Instead of talking about John and Mary, don’ t you think it might be best to go and speak directly do them?” That normally brings the conversation to a quick halt!


2. “I appreciate your confidence in telling me this. But I’ve decided to try harder to focus on the things about my job that I can control. I appreciate your understanding.” Without judging the perpetrator, you kindly communicate to them that you want no part of their childishness.

Remember this also: people who gossip to you will also gossip about you!

Stay on the high road. If what you are going to say doesn’t add value, remain silent. And when someone comes to you to spew their idle or profane babblings, don’t enable them with an audience.