How to cope with bitchiness and backstabbing in the workplace ?
"Don't give it legs . . . "
There is no place for bitchiness, backstabbing, gossip, etc. in the workplace . . . or any place, for that matter. "Breath" is a part of our sacred Life Force and using it for negative purposes is a waste.
As a Life Skills Coach and Business Management Consultant I know that eliminating bitchiness, backstabbing, gossip, etc. in the workplace is critical; left unchecked, it can destroy a company.
The simple answer is: "Don't give it legs . . ." In other words, don't give it any energy, don't pass along comments, don't repeat gossip, don't participate in conversations where any of this negative behavior exists. This works best in small offices with a single offender; without air to fuel the fire, it soon burns out.
Larger offices take a bit more tenacity to put out the flames. So many people today have become addicted to this kind of destructive behavior.
Before taking public action I would start with genuine self evaluation. I would examine any circumstances where I may have inadvertently lead the offending-party to believe I was in some way being bitchy, backstabbing and/or gossiping myself; they might have taken this as consensus or permission.
I would also review any times when I may have been an involuntary and silent witness to bitchiness, backstabbing and/or gossiping, etc. Without verbally setting the record straight at that moment, silence is often taken for complicity.
I would look at my own motivations. Have there been times when being an "insider" felt good, had merit or benefited me in some way? Do I have personal feelings for the people involved that may cloud my judgment?? If the attack is against me, am I taking it personally?? I would look at my own intentions.
There is a big difference between bitchiness, backstabbing, gossip, etc. and the exchange of valid information. Someone who has not fully developed independent thinking will find it hard to discern one from the other. The disparity is often found in the intention behind the actions/comments.
Once I became clear with myself, I would openly and actively oppose bitchiness, backstabbing, gossip, etc.
I would choose my own words carefully. And consistently.
If the problem behavior continues, I would respond with something like the following:
Humorous: "Sounds like someone could use a nap!!"
Compassionate: "I'm sorry, it sounds like you are having a bad day; is there anything I can do to help??"
Mediator: "Can we put all the cards on the table and come up with a win-win solution to end this antagonism??"
Team Player: "I'm sorry you don't seem to be getting along with ______, I have always found them to be hard working and accommodating."
Mentor: "I only want the best for you. Participating in bitchiness, backstabbing, gossip, etc. will not get it for you."
Confidante: "I know you must not realize how small-minded that action/comment makes you seem or you wouldn‘t continue to do it."
Interrogation: "Is that fact or opinion?? What is it based upon?? Are you helping solve the problem??"
Direct: "Bitchiness, backstabbing, gossip, etc. has no place in this work environment. Participation is grounds for termination.
GREAT Hub Barry!! Hope some of these ideas help!! Would LOVE to hear more!! Blessings, Earth Angel!!