Why gossip for work dey good for you
Gossip for work na sometin wey pipo generally no too like . But research don show say we fit reap benefits if we dey do small small office tok-tok.
E get many tins we fit miss about working in di office: free coffee, free air condition, excuse to wear sometin else apart from sweatpants.
But di tin wey we fit miss past na other pipo plus our tok-tok wit dem.
Sometin like how Mike partner just born anoda pikin, how di fridge dey full wit Jane many days old food, IT helep desk dey slow and how oga give Mark and not Jean salary raise, all dis one be gossip.
As some gossip fit dey petty and unprofessional, other types of gossip fit be fun, normal, even healthy and productive. Experts sa talking about others behind dia back no have to be one guilty office pastime e fit be one useful tool to navigate di workplace and learn important information.
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Gossip surprise utility
"I think, generally, gossip be good tin," Elena Martinescu, one research associate for Vrije Universitetit Amsterdam tok, she don extensively study di psychology of gossip. "According to evolutionary theory, humans don developed gossip so dem go get co-operation inside group."
If we dey tok about oda pipo, we fit learn who to collabo wit and who to stay away from, Dis one dey help group to work better together. Dis behaviour wey don tey translate to di modern workplace, she tok, "where e dey equally important to dey aware of di colleague one can fit trust and who one should dey careful wit ".
Matthew Feinberg, be professor of management for di University of Toronto, wey also study gossip, point out say e get different types of gossip.
"When gossipna just rubbish tok' comment on person appearance for example - dat one no get positive purpose, and e dey negative, fit cause damage plus e dey problematic." But research show say most gossip dey pretty gentle.
One 2019 study, for example, show say when researchers record conversations of around 500 participants, majority, more than three-quarters - of di tok-tok no dey positive or negative, but neutral.
E fit be boring gist wey dey travel around, like 'I hear say Marypikin dey study marketing' or 'Pete dey do holiday for Cornwall'.
So even though di same study show say we dey gossip wella for average of say 52 minutes inside one day, in fact di content no too bad as we think.
"I think di biggest tin wey no dey true about gossip be always say e dey negative and make you dey talk bad about somebody behind dia backs.
But survey suggest say di primary reason pipo dey do am na bicos dem really just wan make sense of dia environment," na so Shannon Taylor, one professor of management at di University of Central Florida, US, wey dey study workplace dynamics tok.
Gossip fit "validate our emotions" and helep us figure out wia oda pipo stand on things, e tok, plus say gossip dey helep us make sure if di way we dey "reason di world na di same way oda colleagues and coworkers sef dey reason am.
E dey really about information gathering." So, if person at work say something like "Ralph bin dey go plenti sick leave recently," e fit open di door for others to share dia judgments and evaluations
E fit be say Ralph plenti sick leave fit be reason for im poor job performance, Dis fit helep you gauge how much sick leave dey ok among your colleagues as well as who dey pity Ralph. Di person wey dey ask just dey try reason weda too many sick leave dey acceptable.
Gossipno be just about information-gathering, Hearing gossip about colleagues fit also make us more self-reflective, while being di subject of gossip fit cause pipo to change dia behaviour.
Inside one 2014 study, Martinescu and her colleagues bin ask participants to fill one questionnaire about incidents wey involve to hear negative and positive gossip about other pipo.
Di researchers find say di as negative gossip make di listener to feel superior to di person dem dey gossip about, helep boost self-esteem, and e also make di one wey dey listen dey catch fear say e fit be im own turn.
Meanwhile, to listen to praising gossip give listener ideas about how to improve themselves, so dey fit dey more like di person dem dey gossip about.
Inside similar matter, Feinberg say one of di plus of office gossip be say " e dey keep selfish and immoral individuals in check". inside one 2014 study, im and im team find say "ipipo wey dey selfish or immoral dey much likely to get pipo to gossip about dem so dat everyone else in di larger group know about dia behaviour", e say. "sake of di reciever of dis gossip dey more likely to avoid to dey tok to dem or remove dem from group.
Later, dey find say "pipo wey dem remove begin change their ways so dem go re-accept into di group, and also in general, pipo become more co-operative wit one anoda- maybe becos dem bin no wan make dem remove dem.
Fueled by uncertainty
Gossip - one practice inside one 2017 paper wey bi "an essential part of any working process" - may be particularly relevant right now as defense mechanism wey we dey use to navigate anxiety inside di pandemic.
Although we fit no gather around one physical water cooler to whisper katakata tori to one another, we get DMs and Slack as alternative remote-work channels. "Na tins wey no sure dey drive Gossip past ," Taylor tok. "I no go surprise at all if we see higher level of gossip in di workplace now than we dey see before Covid.
Wit all of dis tins wey no sure, we dey try to sort out wetin oda pipo dey think and wetin oda pipo dey do."
Dat mean say right now, gossip fit be about wether your colleagues dey market for new job for place wey go allow more flexible work-from-home arrangements, or to compare note wit fellow parent about pandemic-era childcare wahala.
As you dey do dis, you dey try to know dio information wey dey available as matter dey change plus who dey di same boat as you.
Sometimes, though, gossip na just uncontrolled emotion about pipo or structure wey you no like.
Maybe na oga wey im style no too sweet you, or di team wey no get action or dey slow.
Yet dis gossip fit still provide network of observations and warning wey provide informal infrastructure of support outside traditional workplace channels like HR.
"Gossip fit warn pipo about dangerous odas, and e also dey helep build social bond between pipo wey dey gossip," Martinescu tok. "Over time, gossip fit helep pipo realise say dem get shared values and experiences, which fit help bring dem closer."
Given gossip don exist since long before di pandemic, survived during it and go live forever afta it, make no dey feel too guilty about our periodic need to discuss oda people lives. Doing so fit serve practical, positive purposes - as long as e no dey malicious.