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Managing InformalCommunication Channels
Managing InformalCommunication Channels  Or, How to Stop Worrying and Love Gossip
In this presentation:
In this presentation:•   What Is Gossip, Really?•   Who Gossips And Why?•   Why You Can’t Really Hope To Stop It•   Why Yo...
Down the years, gossip has hada very bad reputation...
Down the years, gossip has had            a very bad reputation...The Talmud: It has been said that (disparaging speech) k...
Down the years, gossip has had            a very bad reputation...The Talmud: It has been said that (disparaging speech) k...
Down the years, gossip has had            a very bad reputation...The Talmud: It has been said that (disparaging speech) k...
This is how most people have thought of it…
This is how most people have thought of it…
But it may also look like this...
But it may also look like this...
Here’s what we mean when we talk about             gossip today...   Conversation that is about          people…  ➡ when t...
65%of all conversation is about other people
So Why do we gossip?  For most of us, people are the most important things in our environment
We vote with our time and our information, sharing both with people we want to be             connected with
So Why do we gossip?Through gossip, we figure out where we fit in
So Why do we gossip?Through gossip, we figure out where we fit in Who’s for us...
So Why do we gossip?Through gossip, we figure out where we fit in Who’s for us... Who’s against us...
So, why does it matter to      my business?
Your employee manual provides the rules           and regulations
Your orientationmanual provides the rules Your employee and training programs teach              and regulations    people...
But for everything
There’s gossip.But for everything
Gossip!                             Your Unofficial News and Information                                            Networ...
What do people here value?
What do people here value?       “Everyone here takes recycling       really seriously.”
What do people here value?
What do people here value?    “Its sort of expected that youll    work weekends if its busy.”
What are the unwritten rules?
What are the unwritten rules?         “This place is a morgue after         lunch on Fridays.”
What’s my new boss like?
What’s my new boss like?          “Todd is super stingy. He          gets bonuses by not giving          them to us!"
How do I measure up?
How do I measure up?           “Am I really supposed to           know that already?”
Five ideas for managing gossip…
Five ideas for managing gossip…    Be Consistent and Transparent
Five ideas for managing gossip…    Be Consistent and Transparent               If people don’t know why rules are applied ...
Five ideas for managing gossip…    Be Consistent and Transparent               If people don’t know why rules are applied ...
Five ideas for managing gossip…    Be Consistent and Transparent               If people don’t know why rules are applied ...
Five ideas for managing gossip…    Be Consistent and Transparent               If people don’t know why rules are applied ...
Five ideas for managing gossip…    Be Consistent and Transparent               If people don’t know why rules are applied ...
Five ideas for managing gossip…    Be Consistent and Transparent               If people don’t know why rules are applied ...
Five ideas for managing gossip…    Be Consistent and Transparent               If people don’t know why rules are applied ...
Five ideas for managing gossip…    Be Consistent and Transparent               If people don’t know why rules are applied ...
Five ideas for managing gossip…    Be Consistent and Transparent               If people don’t know why rules are applied ...
But there’s another way to look at gossip….
Sometimes, gossip can gossip….But there’s another way to look at be a     manager’s best friend
People have a strong desire to maintain a good reputation
People have aare made through Reputations strong desire to  maintain a good reputation             gossip.
Work teams use gossip to getslackers to pull their weight
Work teams use gossip to getslackers to pull their weight
Continental AirlinesTeam-based Goals andIncentivesTeam members rely onone anotherEmployees can’t easily befiredGossip kept...
Summing upGossip is simply opinionated talking about people who are not in the conversation
Take-aways
Take-awaysEmployees gossip in order to:•   Relieve Uncertainty•   Make Friends•   Fit In•   Learn And Communicate About Th...
Take-aways
Take-awaysYou can manage the gossip in your company
Take-aways  You can manage the gossip in your companyGossip within well-designed work teams can make             them more...
Take-awaysFive ideas for managing gossip…
Take-awaysFive ideas for managing gossip…  	 - Be Consistent and Transparent
Take-awaysFive ideas for managing gossip…  	 - Be Consistent and Transparent        	   Consistent application of rules an...
Take-awaysFive ideas for managing gossip…  	 - Be Consistent and Transparent        	   Consistent application of rules an...
Take-awaysFive ideas for managing gossip…  	 - Be Consistent and Transparent        	   Consistent application of rules an...
Take-awaysFive ideas for managing gossip…  	 - Be Consistent and Transparent         	   Consistent application of rules a...
Take-awaysFive ideas for managing gossip…  	 - Be Consistent and Transparent         	   Consistent application of rules a...
Take-awaysFive ideas for managing gossip…  	 - Be Consistent and Transparent         	   Consistent application of rules a...
Take-awaysFive ideas for managing gossip…  	 - Be Consistent and Transparent         	   Consistent application of rules a...
Take-awaysFive ideas for managing gossip…  	 - Be Consistent and Transparent         	   Consistent application of rules a...
Take-awaysFive ideas for managing gossip…  	 - Be Consistent and Transparent         	   Consistent application of rules a...
Take-awaysUsing reputation via gossip to drive and results…
Take-awaysUsing reputation via gossip to drive and results…       - Create inter-dependent work teams
Take-awaysUsing reputation via gossip to drive and results…       - Create inter-dependent work teams       	   Shared goa...
Take-awaysUsing reputation via gossip to drive and results…       - Create inter-dependent work teams       	   Shared goa...
Take-awaysUsing reputation via gossip to drive and results…       - Create inter-dependent work teams       	   Shared goa...
Take-awaysUsing reputation via gossip to drive and results…       - Create inter-dependent work teams       	   Shared goa...
Take-awaysUsing reputation via gossip to drive and results…       - Create inter-dependent work teams       	   Shared goa...
Take-awaysUsing reputation via gossip to drive and results…       - Create inter-dependent work teams       	   Shared goa...
Take-awaysUsing reputation via gossip to drive and results…       - Create inter-dependent work teams       	   Shared goa...
Discuss amongst yourselves.
Got gossip?
Got gossip?
Got gossip?
Got gossip?
Got gossip?
Got gossip?
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This 15 minute presentation explains what gossip is, why we gossip and what you can and should do about it in your organization.

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  1. 1. Managing InformalCommunication Channels
  2. 2. Managing InformalCommunication Channels Or, How to Stop Worrying and Love Gossip
  3. 3. In this presentation:
  4. 4. In this presentation:• What Is Gossip, Really?• Who Gossips And Why?• Why You Can’t Really Hope To Stop It• Why You Really Don’t Want To• How To Use Gossip To Your Advantage
  5. 5. Down the years, gossip has hada very bad reputation...
  6. 6. Down the years, gossip has had a very bad reputation...The Talmud: It has been said that (disparaging speech) kills three: the person whospeaks it, the person who hears it, and the person about whom it is told. (TalmudArachin 15b)
  7. 7. Down the years, gossip has had a very bad reputation...The Talmud: It has been said that (disparaging speech) kills three: the person whospeaks it, the person who hears it, and the person about whom it is told. (TalmudArachin 15b)Christian bible: “A perverse man stirs up dissension, and a gossip separates closefriends” (Proverbs 16:28)
  8. 8. Down the years, gossip has had a very bad reputation...The Talmud: It has been said that (disparaging speech) kills three: the person whospeaks it, the person who hears it, and the person about whom it is told. (TalmudArachin 15b)Christian bible: “A perverse man stirs up dissension, and a gossip separates closefriends” (Proverbs 16:28)From the Koran: And why did you not, when you heard it, say? "It is not right ofus to speak of this: Glory to God, this is a most serious slander" (24:16)
  9. 9. This is how most people have thought of it…
  10. 10. This is how most people have thought of it…
  11. 11. But it may also look like this...
  12. 12. But it may also look like this...
  13. 13. Here’s what we mean when we talk about gossip today... Conversation that is about people… ➡ when those people are not present… ➡ and which probably contains some opinion.
  14. 14. 65%of all conversation is about other people
  15. 15. So Why do we gossip? For most of us, people are the most important things in our environment
  16. 16. We vote with our time and our information, sharing both with people we want to be connected with
  17. 17. So Why do we gossip?Through gossip, we figure out where we fit in
  18. 18. So Why do we gossip?Through gossip, we figure out where we fit in Who’s for us...
  19. 19. So Why do we gossip?Through gossip, we figure out where we fit in Who’s for us... Who’s against us...
  20. 20. So, why does it matter to my business?
  21. 21. Your employee manual provides the rules and regulations
  22. 22. Your orientationmanual provides the rules Your employee and training programs teach and regulations people what to do and how to do it
  23. 23. But for everything
  24. 24. There’s gossip.But for everything
  25. 25. Gossip! Your Unofficial News and Information Network…Mark in finance just got promoted... I guess it pays to be a brown-nose... Because of Jim, we’re not getting our bonus… Ellen is the best boss I’ve…
  26. 26. What do people here value?
  27. 27. What do people here value? “Everyone here takes recycling really seriously.”
  28. 28. What do people here value?
  29. 29. What do people here value? “Its sort of expected that youll work weekends if its busy.”
  30. 30. What are the unwritten rules?
  31. 31. What are the unwritten rules? “This place is a morgue after lunch on Fridays.”
  32. 32. What’s my new boss like?
  33. 33. What’s my new boss like? “Todd is super stingy. He gets bonuses by not giving them to us!"
  34. 34. How do I measure up?
  35. 35. How do I measure up? “Am I really supposed to know that already?”
  36. 36. Five ideas for managing gossip…
  37. 37. Five ideas for managing gossip… Be Consistent and Transparent
  38. 38. Five ideas for managing gossip… Be Consistent and Transparent If people don’t know why rules are applied as they are, they will make up their own explanations.
  39. 39. Five ideas for managing gossip… Be Consistent and Transparent If people don’t know why rules are applied as they are, they will make up their own explanations. Communicate Change
  40. 40. Five ideas for managing gossip… Be Consistent and Transparent If people don’t know why rules are applied as they are, they will make up their own explanations. Communicate Change Reduce uncertainty.
  41. 41. Five ideas for managing gossip… Be Consistent and Transparent If people don’t know why rules are applied as they are, they will make up their own explanations. Communicate Change Reduce uncertainty. Frequent, Public Recognition
  42. 42. Five ideas for managing gossip… Be Consistent and Transparent If people don’t know why rules are applied as they are, they will make up their own explanations. Communicate Change Reduce uncertainty. Frequent, Public Recognition Positive recognition is formal good gossip.
  43. 43. Five ideas for managing gossip… Be Consistent and Transparent If people don’t know why rules are applied as they are, they will make up their own explanations. Communicate Change Reduce uncertainty. Frequent, Public Recognition Positive recognition is formal good gossip. Mentor New Hires
  44. 44. Five ideas for managing gossip… Be Consistent and Transparent If people don’t know why rules are applied as they are, they will make up their own explanations. Communicate Change Reduce uncertainty. Frequent, Public Recognition Positive recognition is formal good gossip. Mentor New Hires Make sure new people hear it from trusted sources.
  45. 45. Five ideas for managing gossip… Be Consistent and Transparent If people don’t know why rules are applied as they are, they will make up their own explanations. Communicate Change Reduce uncertainty. Frequent, Public Recognition Positive recognition is formal good gossip. Mentor New Hires Make sure new people hear it from trusted sources. Encourage Complaints
  46. 46. Five ideas for managing gossip… Be Consistent and Transparent If people don’t know why rules are applied as they are, they will make up their own explanations. Communicate Change Reduce uncertainty. Frequent, Public Recognition Positive recognition is formal good gossip. Mentor New Hires Make sure new people hear it from trusted sources. Encourage Complaints If something isn’t right, you need to know about it.
  47. 47. But there’s another way to look at gossip….
  48. 48. Sometimes, gossip can gossip….But there’s another way to look at be a manager’s best friend
  49. 49. People have a strong desire to maintain a good reputation
  50. 50. People have aare made through Reputations strong desire to maintain a good reputation gossip.
  51. 51. Work teams use gossip to getslackers to pull their weight
  52. 52. Work teams use gossip to getslackers to pull their weight
  53. 53. Continental AirlinesTeam-based Goals andIncentivesTeam members rely onone anotherEmployees can’t easily befiredGossip kept people in line
  54. 54. Summing upGossip is simply opinionated talking about people who are not in the conversation
  55. 55. Take-aways
  56. 56. Take-awaysEmployees gossip in order to:• Relieve Uncertainty• Make Friends• Fit In• Learn And Communicate About The Culture• Learn The Unwritten Rules• Keep Each Other In Line
  57. 57. Take-aways
  58. 58. Take-awaysYou can manage the gossip in your company
  59. 59. Take-aways You can manage the gossip in your companyGossip within well-designed work teams can make them more productive
  60. 60. Take-awaysFive ideas for managing gossip…
  61. 61. Take-awaysFive ideas for managing gossip… - Be Consistent and Transparent
  62. 62. Take-awaysFive ideas for managing gossip… - Be Consistent and Transparent Consistent application of rules and procedures.
  63. 63. Take-awaysFive ideas for managing gossip… - Be Consistent and Transparent Consistent application of rules and procedures. - Communicate Change
  64. 64. Take-awaysFive ideas for managing gossip… - Be Consistent and Transparent Consistent application of rules and procedures. - Communicate Change Reduce uncertainty.
  65. 65. Take-awaysFive ideas for managing gossip… - Be Consistent and Transparent Consistent application of rules and procedures. - Communicate Change Reduce uncertainty. - Frequent, Public Recognition
  66. 66. Take-awaysFive ideas for managing gossip… - Be Consistent and Transparent Consistent application of rules and procedures. - Communicate Change Reduce uncertainty. - Frequent, Public Recognition Positive recognition is formal good gossip.
  67. 67. Take-awaysFive ideas for managing gossip… - Be Consistent and Transparent Consistent application of rules and procedures. - Communicate Change Reduce uncertainty. - Frequent, Public Recognition Positive recognition is formal good gossip. - Mentor New Hires
  68. 68. Take-awaysFive ideas for managing gossip… - Be Consistent and Transparent Consistent application of rules and procedures. - Communicate Change Reduce uncertainty. - Frequent, Public Recognition Positive recognition is formal good gossip. - Mentor New Hires Assign and train mentors.
  69. 69. Take-awaysFive ideas for managing gossip… - Be Consistent and Transparent Consistent application of rules and procedures. - Communicate Change Reduce uncertainty. - Frequent, Public Recognition Positive recognition is formal good gossip. - Mentor New Hires Assign and train mentors. - Encourage Complaints
  70. 70. Take-awaysFive ideas for managing gossip… - Be Consistent and Transparent Consistent application of rules and procedures. - Communicate Change Reduce uncertainty. - Frequent, Public Recognition Positive recognition is formal good gossip. - Mentor New Hires Assign and train mentors. - Encourage Complaints Encourage complaints “To someone who can do something about them.”
  71. 71. Take-awaysUsing reputation via gossip to drive and results…
  72. 72. Take-awaysUsing reputation via gossip to drive and results… - Create inter-dependent work teams
  73. 73. Take-awaysUsing reputation via gossip to drive and results… - Create inter-dependent work teams Shared goals and compensation
  74. 74. Take-awaysUsing reputation via gossip to drive and results… - Create inter-dependent work teams Shared goals and compensation - Design roles for maximum visibility
  75. 75. Take-awaysUsing reputation via gossip to drive and results… - Create inter-dependent work teams Shared goals and compensation - Design roles for maximum visibility Each individual clearly accountable to the group
  76. 76. Take-awaysUsing reputation via gossip to drive and results… - Create inter-dependent work teams Shared goals and compensation - Design roles for maximum visibility Each individual clearly accountable to the group - Formalize communication among team members
  77. 77. Take-awaysUsing reputation via gossip to drive and results… - Create inter-dependent work teams Shared goals and compensation - Design roles for maximum visibility Each individual clearly accountable to the group - Formalize communication among team members Everyone talks to everyone
  78. 78. Take-awaysUsing reputation via gossip to drive and results… - Create inter-dependent work teams Shared goals and compensation - Design roles for maximum visibility Each individual clearly accountable to the group - Formalize communication among team members Everyone talks to everyone - Encourage extra-work activities
  79. 79. Take-awaysUsing reputation via gossip to drive and results… - Create inter-dependent work teams Shared goals and compensation - Design roles for maximum visibility Each individual clearly accountable to the group - Formalize communication among team members Everyone talks to everyone - Encourage extra-work activities Make reputation matter
  80. 80. Discuss amongst yourselves.

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