GOSSIP: GOOd NEWS FOR LEADERS
Gossip can benefit individuals and organizations, though managers often consider all of it to be derogatory and tend to punish gossipers with lower performance ratings.Gossib can absorb large time of your team members? Gossip means half truth and consists of hearsayGossip is a real way to spread anxiety and fear in the organization. . Can it really valuable?
But the study of HBS with Travis J. Grosser and Virginie Lopez-Kidwell, both doctoral candidates in management, Joe Labianca examined the social interactions in a branch of a U.S. company, surveying 30 of its 40 employees about their social networks in the office, whom they gossiped with and how, and how much informal influence each colleague had. The more staff members gossiped, the better their understanding of their social environment and the higher their peers rated their influence.
Labianca: Gossip can be very helpful to people in organizations, especially when the flow of information from the top gets choked off, as often happens when companies are in crisis or undergoing change. If a few people know what's really going on, gossip becomes the means of spreading that information to everyone else. What's more, research shows that gossip often reduces individuals' anxiety and helps them cope with uncertainty.
It's true that gossip can sometimes crank up the fear level in an organization, but research shows it usually does the reverse. By sharing gossip, you make a personal connection, which gives you social and emotional support. Gossip also disseminates valuable information about a network-who's a free rider, who's a bully, and who's impossible to work with-and provides a means for censuring those who don't adhere to the group's norms.
But aren't perceptions of who's a bully or a free rider based on the gossiper's biases and opinions? Where's the value in information that's so subjective?
The information isn't completely subjective, because these norms are established by the group itself. That's one of the reasons for gossiping in the first place-to negotiate what "proper" behavior is so that the group has an understanding of right and wrong.