Stop Saying What We Already Know

The Problem With Talking About Co-Workers

You aren’t doing yourself any favors saying bad things about a co-worker. If anything you’re damaging your own reputation and demonstrating poor character.


People love gossip, and the juicier the gossip, the better. We love to hear about someone else’s dirty deeds and questionable behavior. But what are we doing to ourselves when we engage that behavior.

  1. You’re redundant. If what you’re saying about someone else is true, everyone else probably already knows it. That means you’re redundant.
  1. You’re ruining your own reputation. This goes back to the boyfriend or girlfriend you got because they were willing to cheat with you. What happened? They cheated on you too. People know that if you’re willing to talk to them about someone else, then you’re also willing to talk about them to others.
  1. You convince people you lack character. One of my employees was upset one day because someone had accused them of something they didn’t do. They were worried what others would think about them. I told that person they should be more worried about their character than their reputation. Reputation is what others think about you, character is who you really are. Your behavior is a direct reflection of your character.
  1. You’re showing others your own insecurity. Why does the bully behave the way he does? Because he is insecure. When you’re leading the water-cooler discussion, you’re showing people that you’re insecure with yourself and your performance so you need to tear someone else down to feel better about yourself.
  1. You’re a weak leader. Leaders only need to talk about poor performance when they are doing a performance review with the person or when they are seeking feedback to address poor performance. If you’re denigrating a peer or subordinate at work, then you are a weak leader and need to spend your water cooler time on professional development.

Question: What negative effects have you seen happen from people who talk about others? You can leave a comment by clicking here.

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I am an author, speaker, and leader with a passion for developing people into practical leaders who put their principles into practice. I am the co-author of the acclaimed book Faith Acts with best-selling author Dillon Burroughs, the Chief Operations Officer at the Chattanooga Community Kitchen, and an independent leadership consultant to up and coming leaders and start up nonprofit organizations. My greatest joy, however, is serving Christ and his Church. I am the proud husband of Shay and father of two great boys. We live in Chattanooga, TN. #NoogaStrong

Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive, off-topic, or downright annoying.

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