She asked to meet with me. She wanted to hear my thoughts on how the job was going. We chatted. She offered feedback. When is feedback ever positive? Oh. Her feedback was supplied by someone else. She named the informant. I was surprised with the feedback. But not offended. After all, I’m new. I’m still learning. I’m in training.
Another new person also had a meeting. She also received feedback. Feedback that offended her greatly. She couldn’t let it go. So she talked to another. Little did she know that her information would be passed on further.
It seems that these coworkers share more than they should. They discuss salaries. Raises. Performance reviews. Beefs with coworkers. Oh. They’re nice. But do I trust them?
So I’ve learned. I’ve learned to keep my mouth shut. Oh. I already knew to do that. But now I’m careful what I say and who I say it to.
One, in particular, likes to gossip. She learned of my meeting. She knew I had received feedback. She was desperate to know what had been said. So she pretended to be friendly. Asked about my weekend. She was fishing. Fishing for information about my feedback. I didn’t take the bait. I knew that if I shared it, everyone would know by the end of the day. That’s not what I want.
Let everything you say be good and helpful, so that your words will be an encouragement to those who hear them. Ephesians 4:29
I once worked with another group of women. They had a meeting to discuss what they didn’t like about each other. Oh. Imagine how the tensions flew. Needless to say, that group fell apart. Quickly. By the time I joined the team, all trust was gone.
Why would they do that? How can people be so cruel? Why didn’t they instead share what they liked about each other? Why not build up instead of tear down one another?
I wonder. What would happen if we would focus on the positive and beautiful instead of finding the juicy gossip or negative tidbits about others? Why do we instead go for the information that will get us the most laughs or gasps of horror? When the story is about another? Why do we do that?
Oh. You’re guilty. I’m guilty. We all have done it. Most likely. We all will do it again. But what if we stopped first and asked ourselves a question. If this information I’m about to share was about me, would I share it? Is there a positive story about the other person I can share so others will see them in a better light? Or. Why say anything at all?
If someone is talking about others to you, then they’re most likely talking about you to others.
I learned that lesson years ago in another work situation. Someone I worked with would tell me unflattering stories about others in the company. Then it dawned on me one day. She must also be talking about me to those people. Because I could see the way they looked at me.
If you can’t say anything nice or positive, don’t say anything at all. If Jesus Christ was standing beside you, what words would you say?