June 27, 2013
Stop The Rumor Mill Cold
This morning, I want to talk about your personal experience with gossip. Most people think (or say) that gossip happens only in high school… Or they say it is only […]
This morning, I want to talk about your personal experience with gossip. Most people think (or say) that gossip happens only in high school… Or they say it is only limited to women. But let’s be honest, that couldn’t be farther from reality.
And how does it feel when you hear it? Just awful, right? You’re ticked off, hurt, offended, enraged maybe. Gossip KILLS relationships, teamwork, marriages and families. The bad news is, you can’t escape it. People will always talk, especially if you gain any amount of success. So how do you deal?
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Gossip plays out in two ways: One, you hear gossip about somebody else or two, you hear it about yourself. They go hand-in-hand because when people hear gossip about a friend they then put themselves in the second scenario by turning around and telling whomever it was about.
You think you’re doing the right thing by informing someone, but you’re not. “Hey I heard some gossip about you and I thought you should know so-and-so is saying…” If this is you, STOP. By passing on gossip, you’re becoming a part of it. And often what you pass on is not the actual meaning, but how you interpreted the information.
Think of the telephone game. Where one person starts with a phrase and whispers it to another and you keep going until the last person tries to repeat the original phrase? And more often than not, the last person ends up saying some silly morphed version of what the first person said.
The only quick, easy way to deal with gossip is to confront it. I know, you just started crying inside. But “confrontation” doesn’t have to be a scary thing! In the work environment, gossip often cannot be ignored. Or possibly you truly care about the relationship(s) of the people involved. Whichever setting, I can walk you through how to handle it.
Using these steps below you can easily bring restoration to any conflict. I’d suggest taking notes or printing this page, this skill set (trust me, it IS a skill!) works in business, marriages or in any conflict or problem!
- Realize the goal in any confrontation is restoration: This is not a time for you to shame or lecture someone for what they’ve said or done. When you do that, people get defensive or the situation escalates.
- Start with encouragement: The best way to make sure a confrontation doesn’t go south is to start by telling a person what you appreciate about them. Be genuine, tell them what you like about them or why mending this situation is important to you.
- Forgive/Take responsibility: When confronting a person, let them know you aren’t holding something against them. Ask for forgiveness for any part you may have had leading up to the problem. And make sure you HAVE forgiven them!
- Build the bridge: During those first 3 steps, you should not even mention the gossip or conflict. Now you’re ready to state what needs to be resolved. “I’ve noticed there has been some tension, (state problem). We both want, (restate the goal: a good friendship, a pleasant work environment). What can I do to resolve this?” By asking what you can do, you take the pressure off the person you’re confronting. Do you see how this is so much better than telling people what to do and not do?
- Honor the other person! Stay respectful, even if the conversation starts to stray. If you take a wrong turn somewhere, go back to the encouraging part!
I really hope these tips help you out today. I guarantee this style of “confrontation” will help mend your relationships and make them stronger! This method shows leadership, not judgment or condemnation.
Gossip and conflicts are something everyone has to deal with in life, so start using these techniques now! Be sure to teach them to your kids, who are probably just starting to experience the hurt gossip can bring. Seriously, print this out!
I’d love you to join me this Sunday night at 9pm ET/8pm CT. Come listen in to the Dani Johnson Show for more relationship tips and skill sets you can use everyday in your own life.
In great faith,
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