Stamp out Gossip today

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    I believe that gossiping is the route to all evil! I believe we all have a part to play within the work place to stop gossip in its tracks. We can all be the gossiper and we can be the person gossiped about. We need to take action now and STOP it, before somebody somewhere is hurt very badly

    Discrimination, sexism and bullying in the work place appear to be on the increase which concerns me a great deal. It comes under many guises and is not always easy to see. It is like a virus and it multiplies and gets out of control before you notice what it is.

    I feel very passionate about a person being discriminated against for one reason or another. Some discrimination is subtle and some is in your face.

    It all starts off with Gossip!

    What starts off with one person complaining about another person soon turns into a witch hunt if it is not stopped in its tracks.

    So how does it begin, simple enough one staff member for one reason or another doesn't like their co-worker. They talk to one person discussing the problems they have with the other person. That co-worker goes on break with somebody else, tells that person what the other person said, now we have three people discussing it before long it multiplies and the whole unit is involved one way or another.

    So the hot topic of conversation is about one person, who is not part of this 'conversation', the initial conversation has progressed, often exaggerated, and now has a life of its own.

    The staff becomes more aware of their co-worker, if this person then does something or says something, no matter how small this is the proof they needed to confirm what the first person had said all along!

    This is then relayed back to the person who started the gossip in the first place and a vicious circle begins

    Gossip is the route of all evil, I firmly believe if you are in a break room and you hear co-workers talk in any way about another co-worker then you are as guilty as the person who is doing the gossiping.

    Why? Because you have a choice, you can ask them to stop or you can leave the room.

    If the gossiper has nobody to listen to their evil, then it dies on the spot. By listening you are giving the gossip a life. By not asking the other person to stop discussing somebody else, you are giving them permission to carry on.

    Gossip really hurts!

    By the time the person you are discussing finds out about what is being said, the damage to that person is done.

    As a manager I have seen both sides and neither side is pretty.

    I experienced a valuable experienced member of staff been reduced to tears, self-doubt and distress almost beyond repair because of malicious gossip.

    Alienated because of your sexuality is just unacceptable, jokes about a person's sex life, choice of partner and discussion of somebodies home life is just abhorrent.

    What might seem like a funny joke to you, when repeated back to that person burns into their soul!

    I have supported staff that has been discriminated against for one reason or another; all suffer the same end outcome

    Loss of self-worth
    Loss of respect
    Feel devalued
    Trust issues

    The list is endless of the damage we can do to somebody, not one of us is exempt from being bullied, discriminated or alienated from our co-workers.

    So STOP before you listen to a conversation about somebody else.

    Refuse to have anybody else discussed in a room where you are

    Kill the conversation dead, and hopefully the person who is gossiping will think twice about their behavior.

    It is within YOUR control, stop it early, stamp it dead, do your part to stop bullying and discrimination now
    Last edit by Joe V on Dec 1, '12
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  2. Visit madwife2002 profile page

    About madwife2002, BSN, RN

    Joined: Jan '05; Posts: 10,271; Likes: 6,112
    Director of Nursing Services; from US
    Specialty: 26 year(s) of experience in RN, BSN, CHDN

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  3. by   TheCommuter
    Thank you for this wonderful and timely reminder to stop the gossip and backbiting, Madwife. Gossip is like a poison that can slowly make every individual in the organization sick. It causes some people's spirits to wither away.

    Change starts with us. We cannot expect respect until we respect ourselves first.
  4. by   anggelRN
    Some people thrive on gossip. They love making others feel as bad about themselves as they do. I especially dislike the way I see some nurses demean other nurses.

    Whether it's talk about their work performace, their personal life, or any of the other countless things you can be targeted for. It really just creates a toxic work enironment. I worked with a charge nurse who made it her mission in life to demean certain nurses. If you didn't participate/agree, you were on her list. Sometimes I felt like I was back in highschool. As you can imagine, I didn't last very long with that organization.
  5. by   CheesePotato
    Quote from madwife2002
    It is within YOUR control, stop it early, stamp it dead, do your part to stop bullying and discrimination now

  6. by   FranEMTnurse
    Gossip destroys relationships, and is why I stay in my apt and away from the gossips.
  7. by   BrandonLPN
    Always be aware of whos around you, and how they might interpret what you say. I've posted this little poem a few times already on other threads, but I like it so much I'll post it again here:

    If wisdom's ways you wisely seek, five things observe with care:
    TO whom you speak
    OF whom you speak
    And HOW and WHEN and WHERE.
  8. by   tewdles
    well said!
  9. by   audacia
    I was thinking about this recently and wondered how nurses are supposed to go about this especially when it seems like many nurses do this in the workplace. I feel like others will join just to go along with it to feel accepted or because there a BIG personalities out there and people that tend to follow their voices like shadows. What is the right approach? This is also considered lateral violence. If you stop a conversation, won't others target you as well?
  10. by   BrandonLPN
    Yeah, I have to admit I'm not going to really put myself on the line by actually confronting the gossipers around me. I'll stay out of it and ignore it. At most, I might grunt with indifference or try to change the subject. I feel like if I were to try to tell the gossipers to stop, I would just run the risk of getting tangled in some drama.
  11. by   Phoenix36
    As a new grad I really rely on the nuturing environment that we as nurses are supposed to create. I had that in school and with all the stress we have in nursing I hope I can expect good things from my co-workers. I was recently told that when a nurse 'stops asking questions' that's when she becomes a bad nurse.

    I can't ask questions of people who emanate tension. Please for the patients sake and for mine can we show a little nuturance for each other. I bruise easy, be nice. Sometimes people bruise just listening to others bashed. Makes me feel unsafe. Thanks to all the nurses who make me feel safe. Anxiety sucks. It kills braincells--I need mine.
  12. by   Angrybird727260
    Thank you for posting this well said article, it sounds like you can see through what's going on with me right now. As a newly graduate as well as new in profession this article is an encouragement.Finally, i feel, at least there is someone out there who wants to do things right. I work in cardiac surgery and its been 2 1/2 months, I only know now there are so many evil nurses on the unit. They are so unprofessional, gossip about me and others all the time. There was this time this foolish nurse drown in gossip, so drown that she couldnt see i was right there. I am a victim of criticism, in a way I am being bullied. They talk, laugh or do whatever I will continue on working, progressing, growing in profession and leave them behind. The foolish people will stay foolish, their heart condition is rotten ,they have fogotten their begining, so at the end they will be left behind in their own misery. As for me I will grow, because in life I've been a fighter and sucessful whenever there is challenge. In away I've always needed someone to mock at me to thrive, because I wanted to show them what I can do. Their misery is my fuel to success.
  13. by   Ntheboat2
    I don't listen to what others say about someone. I like to form my own opinion.

    Too many people will listen to a person's opinion about someone and then it's like they're almost looking for that quality.

    Example: Judy says, "Suzy is so lazy."

    Betty's first experience meeting Suzy is when Suzy is taking 5 minutes to cram her lunch down while Betty is drowning on the floor. So, Betty thinks, "I heard she was lazy. Here she is eating when I'm drowning. Hmph."

    Nevermind the fact that Suzy hasn't peed all day and Betty never even asked Suzy to come help. I've seen it happen a million times and it's frustrating.

    I don't know that I go so far as to confront people while they gossip, but if people are saying something negative about someone and that hasn't been my experience with that person then I'll speak up and say, "She's never been that way to me."

    I've been treated poorly in the past by a co-worker who I had never, ever had a bad experience with so I'm almost certain it was the result of gossip and the type of scenario I just gave. The woman was friends with someone who I had a personality clash with so without ever even trying to get to know me, she formed an opinion about me. I've seen a lot of this in the nursing world, and it's sad that grown ups still act this way.
  14. by   madwife2002
    Gossip starts with small simple sentences,

    'did you hear about (put in anybodies name)' gossip gossip gossip

    'do you think 'Mary' knows what she is doing' Obviously the person asking doesnt think so!

    'I was drowning yesterday and I saw Mary stood chatting at the nursing station' to this one I want to say, did you ask her for help? Did she know you were drowning? 'I doubt she can read minds yet!'

    'what do you think about the new grad?' Why? is it because you want to talk about her or is it because you want to criticize her! I doubt you wanted to help her adjust because why are you not asking the new grad, 'how are you settling in? Is there anything I can help you with'