Getting rid of gossip

Getting rid of gossip

source-image
Jan 01, 2006
By dvm360.com staff
Q: How do I know if gossip has become a problem in my practice? And what's the best way to get rid of it?

"Nothing productive comes from gossip," says Marty Stanley, president of Dynamic Dialog in Kansas City, Mo. "Gossip drains energy and decreases productivity. In fact, the Bureau of Labor Statistics did a study on the impact of change on a business. And during certain periods of change, social chat and gossip increased from 1.5 hours to 3.2 hours a day—and productivity decreased from 4.8 hours to 1.2 hours a day."

Symptoms of a gossiping problem include high turnover and a decrease in the quality of work. To prevent gossip, those in leadership positions need to be role models, says Stanley. "Being critical of other staff members or clients and speaking disparagingly about them in front of your team sends a message that it's OK to gossip."

Already have a problem? The first thing you need to do is hold a staff meeting to address it. "Say, 'OK, this isn't healthy. So from now on, when you hear something that could be misinformation, go to the source and get clarification. And if someone tries to engage you in gossip, tell them you're busy and don't have time to listen,'" she says.

Unfortunately, some people just won't change, says Stanley. "Often, they'll naturally leave when you make a solid effort to stop the gossiping. If not, then remind them of your team efforts to create a healthy work environment, and tell them that if they can't participate, they need to find another place to work."

 

Hot topics on dvm360

Reality TV and the veterinarian: Discussing mainstream dog training advice with clients

Your clients may be getting behavior advice from cable TV. Get your opinion in the mix.

Vetcetera: The complex topic of canine fear-related aggression

A guided tour of resources for addressing this popular and complicated subject, featuring advice from Dr. John Ciribassi.

Blog: Election results pose obstacles for veterinary prescription law

Flip in U.S. Senate's majority may slow progress of Fairness to Pet Owners Act.

The war between shelters, veterinarians needs to end

Despite practitioners’ legitimate gripes, they’re hurting themselves.

7 steps to a better relationship between veterinarians and rescue groups

A DVM in the city shares his advice to veterinary practices for working with rescues.