Leaders in organizations cannot eliminate gossip, but we can mitigate it. How?
- Don't Participate - simply excuse ourselves from the harmful chatter.
- Notice - be persistently conscious of the good things people do for the organization and each other. Folks seem always attentive to what the leaders are looking at and listening to.
- Acknowledge - let others know the good things/people we've noticed -- through personal notes, through public praise, through our affirmations to those up and down the organizational food chain.
- Amplify - make public affirmations for other folks in the organization a permanent feature on meeting agendas. In church, we used to call it "testifying." Make it a habit to let folks praise each other in public.
We can't completely kill gossip, but we can discourage it. We can most certainly create uncomfortable conditions for gossip -- and gossipers.