Collegial Interactive Communication and Gossip

Collegial Interactive communication helps promote a collegial attitude of those around you at work, and build team work relationships.  But while the interactive communication promoted development of family, one problem still persists, gossip.  Helping people to open up and communicate has helped many families draw closer and industries lower workforce injury, accidents and loss, but one thing it still has yet to help reduce has been Gossip.

So what is Gossip?

I have learned over many years that in order to correct something you must first learn what it is.  In our case we want to know what gossip is before we can go about correcting it.

Gossip has a very interesting obsolete root meaning that bears some understanding for our learning today.  A Gossip was once used as the title for what we now call a godparent.  One by some form of invitation has been brought into the family by a religious obligation, also known as a sponsor.  These sponsors have now become part of your family and as such should be considered collegial.

I married a woman who is a Filipina, and under her culture when we married we were expected to  invite some people we considered close to be our sponsors, we chose about 8 couples.  It is more of a honorary thing, but the idea is that their duty is to help guide and assist the new couple in the rough waters of life.  But by experience we found that a couple of our Gossips caused more rough waters in our life than helped to calm.

Further more gossip is defined as, a friend, a comrade, a companion; a familiar and customary acquaintance.  Then the definition goes on to say that gossip is one who runs house to house tattling and telling news or Idle tales.  Also another obsolete meaning is to make merry.

So understanding these meanings of the word Gossip lets us know that it is something very personal, familiar and in some cases makes either the transceiver or the receiver merry to hear it.  whereby it is usually based on something someone else heard and then shared with another.  The problem is this communication is based on something that may not be true or verifiable.  The problem with Gossip as a means of co-equal interactive communication is that it is harmful to the receiver, the teller and the one being talked about.

What does Gossip do?

First of all it can cause all sorts of emotional and even physical problems.  In today’s self absorbed society it can emotionally destroy a person causing them to even take their lives.  All based on gossip and distortion.

We have all played the game where you sit in a circle and tell one person something and then they tell the next and once it makes full rounds it is somewhat distorted from the original message.  This is what happens to gossip once it makes the rounds it is distorted and conflated..  Many a person has been harmed in one way or another from gossip that has made the rounds.  I lost a job once as a young and immature person by listening to gossip from a second party.  Take it from me co-equal interactive communication has no room for gossip.

Co-equal Interactive Communication is to be based on honest and true communication and Gossip usually cannot be established as truth because the receiver was not there when the news or idle tale took place.  The thing to do is to stop the person in their tracks when they are gossiping and say what your are sharing is not healthy for either of us.  And if you are given to gossip the best thing to do is not to do it.  Most people who gossip do so because they don’t know what to talk about and usually they want to control and have attention they feel they need.  But when you allow a person to gossip you are giving then permission to rule over you through it.  Then the interactive communication is no longer co-equal but hierarchal and in the end will cause harm to the relationship.

Practice good co-equal/collegial interactive communication and you will develop long lasting open, honest personal relationships with people.   This is what everyone says they would like to have but it takes, like all good things, hard work and practice.  Don’t invite a Gossip into your life eventually it will come around and hurt you more than help.

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