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Energy Drains at Work

Energy Drains at Work 4/14/17Things that decrease a person’s job satisfaction are more often the reason for leaving a job than are compensation issues.  So what are the things that interfere with job satisfaction?  On the short list, gossip, whining, and conflict have been identified as the culprits.             

Gossip is conversation about someone who isn’t present.  It typically involves details that are not confirmed as being true, and it can result in harming that person’s reputation. Gossip can include or easily morph into backstabbing and negativity.  Even listening to gossip is classified as gossiping.

One tactic that works for changing a culture of gossip is to be in charge of yourself by avoiding the gossip.  Another tactic is to speak up and excuse yourself from a gossip session or the gossiping environment.  A third tactic is to contribute comments that re-frame the conversation to have it focus on problem-solving.

Whining brings people down. It can also be contagious; when we are around people who whine, we can soak up their feelings and start whining, too.

Agreeing or disagreeing with the whiner, or trying to fix the issue that the whiner is whining about, are ineffective strategies.  Taking a problem solving approach is more advisable.  Taking action by leaving the whiner, or dismissing him/her from your space can also be effective strategies.

Conflict is defined as having differences in ideas and practices.  It can be how great ideas come to the surface.  However, when the differences or conflicts are out of balance, we need to get together with the person or people to confront what is going on.  To “confront” the situation in this ways means to work out difficulties face to face without becoming aggressive or overpowering.

Left unchecked, gossip, whining and conflict can create a toxic environment of negativity.  The bottom line is that people need to feel valued. A workplace that values cooperation, mutual support and diversity, and manages change with respectful conversations, will have less negativity to address.

For more ways to counteract gossip, whining, and conflict, request a free copy of the brochure, “Addressing Gossip, Whining, Conflict, and Negative Attitudes” from the Extension Office or retrieve it online at https://www.ag.ndsu.edu/publications/leadership/addressing-gossip-whining-conflict-and-negative-attitudes/fs1816.pdf

Photo Source: https://pixabay.com/en/argument-conflict-discussion-fight-1299108/ (downloaded 4/18/17)

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