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Gossip is inevitable, but frank dialogue is preferred
 
Mauricio Goldstein
 
November 2010
 
Gossip at work can have a positive impact on professional performance. A study conducted by the University of Kentucky, shows that gossiping in front of the coffee machine helps the professional to get a better reading of the organizational environment. The research results oppose the conventional (socially acceptable) approach that such behavior is harmful to the victim, the one who does it and to the company. The study, conducted by Professor Giuseppe Labianca and by two doctorate students, examined the relationship between 30 employees from the department of an american company. The main conclusion was: one who gossips understands the environment better and is more influential to his/her colleagues.
 
Yes, admits the Professor in an interview by the publication Harvard Business Review, gossip can be harmful to the environment. But this is only one type of gossip, the bad one, corresponds to 7% of the corporate gossip. A mixture of positive and negative running conversations represents 72% of gossip and 21% of the little rumors that are clearly beneficial to the employee. At the end of the day, gossip is only the exchange of information between two people about someone else, says Giuseppe Labianca, going on the entire time, inevitably. The problem is not the gossip itself, he says, but the environment where the gossip is developing: if there will be a culture of merit and high performance, there is no risk. The bad gossip spreads when, suggests the study, there is disloyalty or an imbalance amongst the relationships. According to consultant, Mauricio Goldstein, who wrote about gossip in the book Games At Work (Ed. Campus/Elsevier), makes an analysis about the american research: at the end of the day, could gossiping be good for your career?
 
 
Read the full article in English here .

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