Destructive Conversation Spoiling Your Day?

Another name for destructive conversation in the workplace could be gossip, backstabbing, lying, undermining or just plain mean talk.  It all has the same consequence, that being, low morale, absenteeism, turnover, stress and fear.

As an employee, it’s up to you to foster the kind of conversation that moves your company forward and upward. If you are a manager and the situation is in front of you it is imperative that you discuss this negativism with the employees involved.  Meeting with each separately to get their side of the story before deciding on an action plan to solve the problem and end the complaining.

Some employees just want to vent but don’t want to lose their job.  It is usually about something that they feel is unfair and they are frustrated about not being in control to change things.  Sometimes the boss has introduced something new that affects the performance of the worker, but they can’t go directly to the boss to complain so they complain to co-workers seeking someone to agree with them.

To diffuse the situation and to find out what the problem is:

  •        Keep the conversation brief and stay on topic. You don’t want to fuel the drama.
  •        Include a word of appreciation and encouragement.  Most people need this when they are feeling unappreciated.
  •        Talk to the person the way that you would like to be spoken to from your superior.
  •        Find common ground and areas where you do agree.
  •        Ask them what they would do to change the situation and work towards a compromise.

Remind the team that they are there to serve the patients.  Patients can feel tension in the workplace and this can lead to patients leaving the practice.


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