Backbiting: Bane of Team Work in Schools

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Teachers and everybody else associated with the functioning of a school need to be extra careful with what they do and say. Children are learning all the time from what they see, hear and experience. Often, the unintended learning that children acquire from their experiences at school leaves a more profound and lasting impression on them than their structured and formal classroom learning.

Gossiping and backbiting sometimes come naturally to many teachers. The tender and impressionable minds of young children should be protected from these poisons. Schools must be strictly maintained as “No Gossiping” and “No Backbiting” zones.

Speaking ill of people in their absence is bad enough; having to see its hideous influence on small children is something that no real teacher can have on his/her conscience!

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  • I hope your group functions very well. Obviously, I can see what is happening if a team member is not attending class, but I cannot see beyond this room. But I need you to talk with me if the team is not functioning well. I can only help if I know there is a problem as it begins to occur; at the end of the quarter I can’t provide much help. Hand out “Teamwork Ground Rules”
  • I hope your group functions very well. Obviously, I can see what is happening if a team member is not attending class, but I cannot see beyond this room. But I need you to talk with me if the team is not functioning well. I can only help if I know there is a problem as it begins to occur; at the end of the quarter I can’t provide much help. Hand out “Teamwork Ground Rules”
  • Backbiting: Bane of Team Work in Schools

    1. 1. BACKBITING AND GOSSIPING BANE OF TEAMWORK AND SUCCESS IN SCHOOLS Payam Shoghi http://payamshoghi.com/
    2. 2. TEAMWORK AT SCHOOL Development and progress of any school depends on the people who run it. A more effective teamwork among its people will ensure unforeseen successes.
    3. 3. TEAMWORK
    4. 4. TEAM DEFINITION  A team is a small number of people with complimentary skills who are committed to a common purpose, and a set of performance goals, and for which they hold themselves mutually accountable.
    5. 5. TEAMWORK  What is team?  Why are teams essential?  How is a team developed?  What contributes to the strength of a team?  What are the threats to a team?  How does a team function?  What is the relationship between the team and success?  How is synergy ensured in a team?  What is the nature of communication in a team?  How is performance assessed in a team without criticism?  How is morale and motivation kept high in a team?
    6. 6. TEAMWORK  Together  Everyone  Accomplishes  More  With  Organization  Responsibility, and  Knowledge
    7. 7. INGREDIENTS FOR A SUCCESSFUL TEAM  Common Goals and Objectives  High level of Commitment  Synergy by leveraging Diversity of Skills  High level of Interdependence  Highly level of Enthusiasm and Motivation  Mutual Support and Assistance  Joy from each others’ successes  All are well-wishers of one another
    8. 8.  Lack of understanding of roles  Undefined chain of authority  Improper planning  No timely evaluation of progress  Domination by one team member  Unresolved disagreements and differences  Disengaged attitude by team members  Gossiping and backbiting within the team THREATS TO SUCCESSFUL TEAMS
    9. 9.  Gossiping and backbiting within the team THREATS TO SUCCESSFUL TEAMS
    10. 10. TheThe MurderousMurderous TongueTongue Gossiping and Backbiting-The PoisonGossiping and Backbiting-The Poison thatthat KillsKills Teamwork andTeamwork and SpoilsSpoils RelationshipsRelationships
    11. 11. Gossip: Idle talk or rumor, especially about the personal or private affairs of others; sharing unproven facts and views about others.
    12. 12. Backbiting:Backbiting: Speaking ill ofSpeaking ill of someone in his absence. To determinesomeone in his absence. To determine if backbiting has occurred, considerif backbiting has occurred, consider whether the absent person would feelwhether the absent person would feel bad about what was mentioned behindbad about what was mentioned behind his back or not. If yes, it is backbiting.his back or not. If yes, it is backbiting.
    13. 13. GossipingGossiping andand BackbitingBackbiting Condemned by all major religions of theCondemned by all major religions of the world.world.
    14. 14. Let him abstain from . . . gambling, idle disputes, backbiting, and lying, from looking at and touching women, and from hurting others. (Laws of Manu) Lord, who may abide in Your tabernacle? Who may dwellLord, who may abide in Your tabernacle? Who may dwell in Your holy hill?in Your holy hill? He who walks uprightly, And works righteousness, AndHe who walks uprightly, And works righteousness, And speaks the truth in his heart; He who does not backbitespeaks the truth in his heart; He who does not backbite with his tongue, Nor does evil to his neighbor, Nor takeswith his tongue, Nor does evil to his neighbor, Nor takes up a reproach against his friend.up a reproach against his friend. (Psalm 15:1-(Psalm 15:1- 3)3) O you who believe! Avoid suspicion. . . and spy not on each other, nor speak ill of each other behind their backs. Would any of you like to eat the flesh of his dead brother? No, you would abhor it ... But fear Allah, for Allah is Oft- Returning, Most Merciful." (Holy Quran,
    15. 15. For lack of wood the fire goes out, and where there is no whisperer, quarreling ceases (Proverbs 26:20) You shall not go around as a slanderer among your people, and you shall not stand up against the life of your neighbor: I am the Lord. (Leviticus 19:16) . . . backbiting quencheth the light of the heart, and extinguisheth the life of the soul.” (Baha’i Writings) O Son of Being! How couldst thou forget thine own faults and busy thyself with the faults of others? Whoso doeth this is accursed of Me." (Baha’i Writings)
    16. 16. Why, then,Why, then, do peopledo people GossipGossip andand Backbite?Backbite?
    17. 17. Basic reasons why people gossip about each other and backbite are: • To alleviate hatred • Desire to fit in; yielding to peer pressure • Perception of injustice involving the person concerned • The desire to show off and boast • Jealousy • In jest and humor • Mocking, ridicule, and contempt. All Negative Characteristics!
    18. 18. We can cause greatWe can cause great harm by gossipingharm by gossiping and backbiting. . .and backbiting. . . to individual reputationsto individual reputations and more importantlyand more importantly to organizational progressto organizational progress
    19. 19. •We do not always know all the facts •What we see and hear can actually by deceptive resulting in misunderstandings •Ignorance provides credence
    20. 20. If notIf not careful,careful, thisthis problemproblem can getcan get really bigreally big
    21. 21. •Gossiping and backbiting are socially permissible, and so no external inhibition •People who backbite and gossip actually enjoy doing so, and this drives them on •Shared information, even though not factual, gives an impression of importance •We often don’t even realize that we are backbiting
    22. 22. ConsequencesConsequences of gossipingof gossiping and backbitingand backbiting in anin an organizationorganization
    23. 23. •Basic relationships break down affecting bonds of unity and harmony •Trust and credibility get undermined •Groupism within the organization ensues •Plotting and intrigue follow •Independent thinking ability undermined •Organizational time and effort spent in fire- fighting and crisis management •Attention gets diverted away from main aims and objectives
    24. 24. How can weHow can we protectprotect ourselves fromourselves from the malice ofthe malice of gossiping andgossiping and backbiting?backbiting?
    25. 25. •Be guided by the maxim: “if you can’t say anything nice, don’t say anything at all.” •Reinforce your sense of loyalty towards the institution: with time we will all be gone, but the institution will remain. We have a serious responsibility towards it. •This basically calls for inner discipline: don’t gossip and backbite, don’t listen to gossip and backbiting, remind one another in a positive way when this happens.
    26. 26. Let us do what Socrates used to do: When approach with news about a certain person, Socrates would employ the “Three Filter Test” Before listening to what the person had to say, Socrates would ask him the following three questions: • Have you made sure that what you are telling me is absolutely true? • Is what you are going to tell me something good? • Is what you are going to tell me useful to me?
    27. 27. Imagine what happens when we constantly talk about each other, with each other, when what is being said - is something bad, and we are not even sure whether it is true or not, and which is a completely useless piece of information to us! Please don’t lend a hearing ear to such idle talk. The responsibility to stop gossiping and backbiting is as much the listeners’ as the speakers’.
    28. 28. RESOLUTION  Try and root out the evil vices of Gossiping and Backbiting from every school for ever.  Help build stronger bonds of trust, unity and interdependence.  Strive to build an institution that others will envy.

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