13 Dec Turning Workplace Gossip Into Meaningful Conversation
I don’t want a lot for Christmas. There is just one thing I need. How about a little workplace gossip? Gossip gets a bad rap, as it should, because it sits on the dishonesty spectrum. Office gossip has been around since the invention of the office but, regardless of how you feel about it, you have to see gossip for what it is: a form of communication. It’s sharing an experience-fed opinion. We all know it’s sometimes hard to openly share your opinion in the workplace so this communication often stays hidden, shared only among our closest colleagues huddled around the water cooler.
Why is this? Well, there are actually a lot of elements at play and plenty of reasons why people feel reluctant to share their opinions with people in power, even when they’re particularly good opinions or ideas. On the positive side, sharing these types of thoughts and opinions bellied up to the office watering hole creates a sense of camaraderie. There are few stronger bonds than two people with a secret. It’s an incredible show of mutual respect and support.
But a lot of what compels people to stay mum on this type of communication, and it is communication, is fear of retribution, blowback, or, worst of all, waning office acceptance. Also, you never do know how someone will receive criticism, most especially gossip criticism, which can come off as cruel and unhelpful.
But still, there’s good stuff in these conversations. Criticism that connects or ideas that could easily hurdle a business or organizational need that leadership would be more than happy to entertain.
The risk of blowback, the understood hierarchy, and the connection that the secret information creates puts most folks in a place where there’s just not enough incentive to share. So the status quo continues and gossip makes its rounds. Leadership looks clueless, and their team members appear subversive.
In walks GoodGames and a chance to take that gossip, mold it into something helpful, and let everyone in on the secrets that can help the company. Our games are designed to take nuggets of truth, thoughts that, when unheard, come out as cold as Scrooge on Christmas Eve, and turn them into the shiny gold gift waiting under the tree.
Best of all, every one of our games can be played anonymously, removing those fears and allowing your voice to be heard. It makes it easier to discuss the easy things, micro-criticisms that are only meant to make the office world a happier place, and the hard things easier to discuss, like accessibility and diversity in the workplace.
So Santa, if you’re reading this, please deliver a GoodGames subscription that will take the office gossip and transform it into meaningful conversation. And please bring Mariah this person she’s asking for. Each year. She’s not asking for a lot. In fact, only one thing. I mean, yule do.