You can’t believe what you just heard. You can’t wait to tell Sheryl. She’s going to freak out. And you know she’ll agree with you on this. Then you couldn’t believe what happened with that supplier. You solved the issue quickly, but go straight to tell your right-hand man how mad it made you.
Have you ever had a bit of gossip or news that you just couldn’t hold in? Have you ever blown up an issue beyond what it needed to be? Sure, we all have. But have you ever thought about how creating that drama might affect your leadership?
We love to share news and gossip with each other. We all want to feel connected and form bonds with each other. It’s often hard to connect with your co-workers, so when something good and juicy comes up, it’s hard not to share it. But when we talk about people behind their back or escalate an issue beyond what is needed, we slowly choke out our leadership (and just as a reminder – rank does not confer leadership).
The best leaders are trustworthy, level-headed and resolution-seeking. When we create drama by gossiping or by emotionally escalating issues beyond what is needed, we degrade our leadership.
Let me give you an example. You find out that an employee has been filing paperwork incorrectly. You go to the employee and let them know the proper way to file the paperwork. You then proceed to let all the other employees know that someone has been filing the paperwork wrong and you reinforce the right way to do it. You could have just went over the basics, but you added that “someone” has been doing it wrong.
You’re looking to bond with the people you confide in, but you’re actually destroying trust, not only with the people you’re speaking about, but also with the people you’re speaking to. We inherently know that people who talk about others will some day talk about us. We also know that people who escalate issues beyond what is needed may escalate an issue we’re involved in beyond what is needed. Drama kills your leadership.
We naturally gravitate toward people who we know keep the peace and are trustworthy. As leaders, we want to create environments where anyone feels comfortable talking to us about their ideas, needs and concerns. Leadership is a hard-earned, precious responsibility, let’s not kill it with needless drama.
Cover image info: Original, royalty-free image from Unsplash.