Business Strategies: Gossip and Humor

The term “buzz” is frequently heard in business circles today. However, many people think that business gossip is a terrible thing to spread and can have a negative impact on a business. On the contrary, there are some very real benefits to “leaking” information about your business in an online or offline forum. Here are just a few:

– Publicity. Businesses are always in the process of growing their customer base and providing better service. As such, it is vitally important for business owners to engage in conversation with their customers. This helps both sides to build camaraderie and understanding. This is especially important when new products or services are being launched or previously established products are coming out.

– Feedback. It’s been well documented that most consumers respond better to positive feedback than negative criticism. If you share positive business gossip about other people in your peer group, other business owners will be inclined to treat you well. Likewise, they will be more apt to give you referrals if you behave well in their company. When gossip spreads like wildfire, everyone benefits.

– Increased sales. Many times, business owners will receive good feedback from other business owners about their products and services. If this feedback is well-worded and supportive, other business owners will be more apt to use your product or service themselves, which leads to increased sales. This is one of the many ways gossip spreads throughout a business: if you’re behaving well, other business people are likely to do so as well, and this creates a positive environment for everyone.

– Cohesion. Most individuals are only mildly friendly, but gossip can reignite the flame of friendship. In fact, studies show that the mere presence of gossip in a social setting tends to increase people’s likings of other individuals. As such, gossip is extremely contagious. If you’re not part of a tight-knit group, it’s easy to spread gossip throughout your company, which can create a negative environment that is not helpful for your business.

– Improve product or service quality. It may seem petty but gossip spreads over time and can eventually become a quality issue in your business. When gossip is circulated among your peers, you can gauge how much they like or dislike certain products or services – it then becomes easier to improve upon this quality when developing your business. On the flipside, when gossip is exchanged among a team of employees, it can become a measuring tool for determining how much each team needs to improve on the work they do.

– Increase employee morale. As previously mentioned, gossip can become a quality issue, and this can greatly improve employee morale. In fact, research shows that gossip can even increase productivity – those who gossip at work are more productive than those who don’t. This is because workers who gossip at work tend to be more excited about their work, and are motivated to work harder than those who don’t.

– Help others succeed. As previously mentioned, gossip can be a quality issue if shared among a team – if the gossip is allowed and encouraged within a business organization, it can greatly benefit the business as a whole. If gossip is spread among your peers, it can help other business owners or managers take notice and adopt the same positive lifestyle decision – sharing positive business gossip. This can result in better networking skills, increased business sales, and even new business opportunities.

– Create a positive image. There’s no doubt that gossip in the workplace can create negativity. However, the majority of gossip-spreading recipients are typically repeat gossipers. They continue to gossip, even if they themselves don’t believe the gossip. Thus, gossip spreads quickly within the business organization, but creates a positive image for others who may read the news.

– Improve employee motivation. If you share positive business gossip with your peers, others are likely to listen. Those who gossip about colleagues only to have negative results are likely not to adopt the same behavior. In fact, they may even try to discourage negative behavior from occurring. They’ll know that other business owners have similar views as them – and they may decide to make positive remarks themselves.

It’s important to remember that although gossip at the office can be a very constructive way to lighten the mood between team members and build camaraderie between coworkers, gossip can do more damage than good. Gossip can quickly turn into a huge problem if it is not treated with tact and care. Instead of trying to ignore or distract gossip from happening, you should embrace the opportunity to address the issue in order to stop the gossip from becoming a problem in your business structure. Talk it out, make everyone feel better, and you’ll all be much happier for it.