Whether being at a church or at work, we have to acknowledge that gossiping brings down the organization. I heard it best as being the “cancer” of the organization, and it shouldn’t be tolerated and removed immediately. It’s probably happened to us all, where we somehow get sucked into their circle, and hear it continuously day after day that we don’t know what to do about it, eventually we start joining in on their conversations.
Richard Steele states that fire and swords are slow engines of destruction, compared to the tongue of a gossip. We see it everywhere from television, magazines, and radio; it’s what keeps the entertainment industry going, but how do you handle a gossiper?
Several years ago at our church, we had a much larger congregation than what we have now. Everyone had a very great vibe, the enthusiasm was there and it really did seem close to perfect. We had visitors coming in and considered themselves already members because they were quickly attracted to the organization. Guest speakers from other countries would come visit and pastors from other churches as well.
As this congregation grew to a substantial size, we have to note that it becomes much difficult when it comes to dealing with what each individual has to say, and not everyone comes from the same background. We gave roles to people who we thought were trustworthy and had great skills in dealing with situations. The results went well, everything seemed stable until we had one new member who stood out from all of them.
She was very polite and generous. Every time you asked her for something her response would be positive, but there would be this other side of her outside the organization. Calling other members and gossiping about other members around her with who did what, when it happened and why she thinks it happened. It was nonsense, the reaction of other people would be to avoid joining in on the conversation but the problem is that they soak all the negativity in, and they soon start to do the same as well.
The counselors of the church were aware of the problem but it seems they didn’t confront the problem with her because they were afraid drama would spill all around, but my thoughts are they have no clue that gossips can bring down an organization quick.
Gossip soon created barriers within the organization. Some members would look at each other differently, with the mentality of the ‘he said she said’ thinking due to the fact they’ve soaked up so much gossip. The vibe and enthusiasm were different. At such a rapid rate, the church seem to have lost its momentum and half the members started heading their separate ways.
The leader found out who the main person was bringing in the gossip and it was confronted with her. She didn’t take it in too nicely and soon headed out her own separate way. The problem here however was that she still kept in touch with existing members of the organization. By doing this she was implanting negativity to take inside the organization. Soon after, the same affect started happening again where gossiping started to rise and no one was aware of where it mostly was coming from. Again the organization started dissolving quickly. This time it did ruin some great relationships within people. It’s sad to see some people go because of false rumors they thought were true yet are the victim of this spreading.
The problem here is that a gossiper is only good at gossiping. You cannot stop it, no matter how you look at it. Perhaps if a gossip is gossiped about, that may turn the tides a little, but overall you have to take the approach of a gossip seriously.
The leader had just about enough of all this going on. One of the ways gossiping was handle was that they removed her and anyone else associated or still in communication with her. Perhaps it’s a tough thing but in order to get ride of this, we have to cut the process in which gossiping is being flown. Before they asked those close and in communication with her to be removed, they confronted them all individually asking to please stop any form of communication with her. Some agreed while others continued; they were asked to leave. Now the organization is bouncing back up with a right mentality and strong bond with one another.
I think one of the methods that could’ve stopped the spread of rumors is we have to confront a gossiper as soon as they spill. Not doing so in time, will result in dissolving of the company or organization quickly. If they continue after being confronted against, they have to be removed, and tell those in communication with them to avoid gossiping as much possible.
What do you do when you see gossiping taking place in your business or organization. Do you confront it quickly or best avoid it? What have been your past experiences when dealing with a gossip? Has the outcome affected you deeply and those around you? It’s something we should be prepared to handle.