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

Pol on defense as Michigan veterinary board discusses negligence charges

Controversial reality TV veterinarian calls his approach 'common sense.'

Photo gallery: The top 10 veterinary schools in America, according to U.S. News

U.S. News & World Report ranks programs for the first time since 2011.

Front Desk Disasters, Episode 3: Dude looks like a lady

Everyone's favorite receptionist is at it again. Would you handle this situation differently?

Video: Flea hideouts in the house

Parasitology expert Michael Dryden, DVM, MS, PhD, reveals prime hideouts for fleas—and gives tips to clear them out of clients' homes for good.

Veterinarians: Your clients are going to Google with these cat questions

You might be surprised by what your clients are researching. Plus, get an educational client handout.