Successful People Do Not Gossip

Today is Tuesday, so this post is on positive personal impact.

I received a press release from Randstad USA last week.  They have a new study out that identified the Top 7 Pet Peeves in the Workplace.  Here they are, with the percentage of people who identified each pet peeve.

  1. Gossip – 60%
  2. Other’s poor time management skills – 54%
  3. Messiness in communal spaces – 45%
  4. Potent scents – 42%
  5. Loud noises – 41%
  6. Overuse of electronic personal communication devices in meetings – 28%
  7. Misuse of e mail — 22%

Why should you care?  Because all of these pet peeves are things to avoid if you are going to have positive personal impact. 

Let’s focus on the top one – gossip.  The same day that I received the press release, I got an e mail from Gary Ryan Blair, The Goals Guy.  He has a special report out called Gossip, Rumors and Innuendo: Understanding Gossip and How to Control It!   You can purchase it by going to  Click on “Store”, then “Special Reports”.

Gary likens gossip to workplace violence.

“To many people, the idea of "workplace violence" connotes the physical harm that one may do to another. However, there is another form of workplace violence that is just as dangerous and insidious, and this is workplace gossip, rumors, and innuendo.  While your first inclination may be to consider the way we talk as not being violent , the fact remains, our words in the context of gossip, rumors, and innuendo often lead to hurt, pain and suffering.”

He’s right.  I know there’s an old saying, “Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words can never hurt me.”  This is something that mothers tell their children to help them deal with the inconsiderate things kids say to one another.  Unfortunately, it’s not true. 

Gossip can have a very debilitating affect on another person.  Interpersonally competent people just don’t do it.  People with positive personal impact just don’t do it.  Gossip serves no good purpose, other than to hurt the person about whom it is the subject.

The book, As A Gentleman Would Say, offers some great advice about gossip.

“When a gentleman is asked to substantiate a rumor…
He does not say: ‘Let me put it this way: I’m not going to say yes, I’m not going to say no.’ ‘I think I know the truth, but I better not say it.’ ‘Don’t you have any better way to waste your time?’
But he does say: ‘I don’t know the truth about that, so I’d prefer not to say anything.’

The common sense point here is simple.  Don’t gossip!  Gossip not only hurts other people.  It makes you smaller.  People with positive personal impact don’t gossip.  The old saying, “Extraordinary people talk about ideas, average people talk about events, and little people talk about other people,” is true.  Be an extraordinary person.

That’s it for today.  Thanks for reading.  Log on to my website for more common sense.  Check out my other blog: for common sense advice on leading people and running a small business.

I’ll see you around the web, and at Alex’s Lemonade Stand.


PS: Speaking of Alex’s Lemonade Stand – my fundraising page is still open.  Please go to to read Alex’s inspiring story and to donate if you can.

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