Please enter your keyword:

Sign up to our newsletter

Keeping Conversations Beside the Watercooler Meaningful

February 15, 2018 Silvia Damiano

Gossip in a work environment can range from benign to toxic. The dynamics of working with large, diverse groups of people inevitably lead to squabbles and resentments; it seems to be human nature. But instead of automatically assuming the worst, try to focus on a positive attitude that doesn’t require shaming others.

Keeping-Conversations-Beside-the-Watercooler-Meaningful

Don’t believe everything you hear

We all gossip. Even if you never say anything harmful or mean about someone else, you still comment about what is going on around you. This practice can be hurtful to others, especially when things are taken out of context. Spending some time with your employees chatting at the ‘watercooler’ is important for leaders, but you want to make sure the time spent is meaningful, and not full of malicious or hateful words.

Building rapport is essential for a leader, and engaging in chit chat is a great way to learn about others. Research has shown that socialising is good for your brain. However, balancing the fine line between a conversation and gossip can sometimes be tricky. And what if the chatter is about you?

Is there some truth to office whispers? Learning how to filter through the noise

There can be some truth to the office whispers. An unintentional word overheard, a misunderstanding or a bit of resentment can cause rumors to fly. Learning how to focus on the positive, and how to check your own attitude in the workplace will improve your leadership abilities.

Strong minds discuss ideas, average minds discuss events, weak minds discuss people.

Socrates

Neuroscience is teaching us how our brain works, and brains that are constantly rushing from one meeting to the next, or mired in the sticky world of gossip, are not going to experience new, innovative thoughts. But innovation can be developed through exercises that strengthen imagination, drive, curiosity and attitude.

An attitude that embraces change and seeks positivity will create a brain that sees opportunities and experiences instead of threats and scandals. Realizing that many times people say things in the ‘heat of the moment,’ and that this makes us perfectly imperfect humans is also vital for an effective leader. While this doesn’t excuse malicious gossip, sometimes rumors are a simple misunderstanding.

Rise above the drama and create a workplace where anything is possible

The i4 Model can help you understand how the right attitude can create the proper brain environment that you need to allow for new neuronal connections. Imagining the possibilities first, and then believing that these can be attained will let your brain work on translating that belief into reality.

Social media has allowed for gossip on a grand scale, but it can also be a valuable tool to build innovation and communication, to encourage engagement, and to nurture networks across an organisation and across the world.

Humans are naturally inquisitive, and we enjoy hearing about others, and yes, even talking about what is going on in other people’s lives. A good leader can use this inquisitiveness to create the conditions needed for learning and innovation, so pause at that watercooler!  

Improve your Attitude  Ever wondered what attitude adjustments you need? New advances from different  scientific fields are helping us better understand how our brains and bodies  function and the incredible impact they have on the way we lead.  Learn how our i4 Neuroleader Program can help develop your personal leadership. Download Program Guide

Silvia Damiano

Silvia Damiano

Scientist, educator, author, speaker, coach, award-winning leadership specialist and filmmaker. Silvia is the Founder & CEO of the About my Brain Institute, creator of the i4 Neuroleader Model & Methodology, author of ‘Leadership is Upside Down’ and director of the 2018 documentary ‘Make Me A Leader’.

Silvia is passionate about leaving a legacy of well-rounded leaders who can act and decide in a way that better serves humanity. Her clients include Microsoft, Australian Stock Exchange, NSW Government, VISA, Fuji Xerox and Manpower amongst many other global companies.

Learn more:
www.aboutmybrain.com/silviadamiano

Comment