When I consult with child care professionals, one thing I often hear from men and women is that it’s just not possible for a group of women to work together without gossiping.
What do you think?
Today, I’m going to share with you some of my findings in response to this question.
Women do have more of a tendency to gossip. They share their emotions and vent in general more than men. Women’s brains operate on more of an emotional level then men’s. Women in general feel more empathy and desire to know details of situations, whereas men want the facts and are quick to present solutions.
The brains of men and women are different. There have been many brain research studies conducted that show how women’s brains in general, differ than men’s. Not only research of how women and men react to situations differently, but how the components contained in the brains of men and women are different sizes.
Because our brains are different, we display different characteristics. In an article entitled: Are There Differences Between The Brains of Males and Females, the author, Renato Sabbatini, states that the fathers of sociobiology, Edward O. Wilson, said that females tend to display more empathy, verbal skills, social skills, and security seeking than men. And men are higher in independence, dominance, spatial and mathematical skills, and rank related aggression.
Additionally, Deborah Tannen who is a sociolinguist and the author of: You Just Don’t Understand, states that when women communicate, they communicate to build connections and convey information.
So women process things differently and display different characteristics when it comes to how and why they communicate.
AS A RESULT:
Women (in general) have the need to fit it and often this need to fit it can keep them stuck in gossip and prevent them from being as successful as they can be. Martha Barletta, CEO of WomensMedia states that in general, women are more likely to shortchange themselves when it comes to being successful professionally because they don’t want to boast about their accomplishments or stand out. They want to fit it!!
In spite of all these differences, women can and do work together without gossiping.
HOW TO MAKE IT HAPPEN:
Individually, women have to work a little harder to really focus on facts, benefits and solutions in the workplace. Women need to build skills to deal with all of their emotional stuff.
Women need to realize they have a choice. When they feel emotional and can’t deal with a situation from a logical perspective, they can utilize a journal to vent frustrations or utilize a support group outside of work to help them move beyond their emotions. Then when ready, they can deal with the issue directly with the person who they’re in conflict with. If they can’t do that – they can utilize a third impartial person to help resolve the issue.
That’s just for starters!
The bottom line is, women can work together without gossiping.
Do you supervise a group of women who seem to get caught up in gossip?
Here are a few steps you can take to eliminate gossip from your working and learning environment.
Step #1: Develop a strong, positive belief that you and your team can take a proactive stance against gossip. If you don’t believe that change can happen – chances are you will prove yourself right!
Step #2: Educate your team on the devastating impacts of gossip. Perhaps you have been hurt by gossip or know some stories you can share with your team to help drive home the point that gossip hurts others and – we hurt ourselves when we gossip.
Step #3: Build morale through team building activities. The more your team likes each other – the less they will gossip about each other.
Your working and learning environment can be a place where everyone pitches in, sometimes doing more than their fair share of the work, to help your center be the most positive and productive place it can be. Your atmosphere can be filled with genuine trust, respect, and caring for each other.
© 2001-2009 Julie Bartkus. All Rights Reserved. Julie Bartkus is an author, speaker, consultant and coach.