Resource Gossip: Creating Healthy Team Cultures Through Productive Conversation

Resource Gossip: Creating Healthy Team Cultures Through Productive Conversation

We’re listening!

What an overwhelming response, from you, our valued Greatness enthusiasts!  Last week, we brought you information and resources on this topic of Resource Gossiping and because of its popularity here is more!  I recently had the pleasure of interviewing the well-respected, funny motivational speaker and workplace energizer, Michael Kerr! Michael leaves audiences laughing all the way to the bank as a Humour in the Workplace expert!

Tune in to the video or read on for an abridged version of the interview!

Forever Recognize Others’ Greatness  is my co-authored book all about employee recognition – why to recognize employees, how to recognize employees. It’s an incredibly important topic when it comes to workplace success, and organizational success. One of the things in the book, is the concept of “resource gossiping”. Usually, we think of gossiping as a bad thing, do we not?
People tell me all the time that this is one of the things that they want my help stopping – the gossip.

My co-author, Brenda and I, we were continually asked to help with teams where there was a huge gossip problem, and nothing we could do would help to stop that. And we thought: you know what, why do you try to stop a moving stream? We had to figure out why is it happening. It’s because it’s social glue, gossip bonds people together.

So what we started to think about is: is there some way that we could use gossip in a way that still bonds people together but it doesn’t actually create fractions? That it actually could be helpful in workplaces? And that’s where the resourcefulness piece came in. Because we actually do this, we just don’t call it resource gossiping. We don’t call it gossiping at all. When we say nice things about people when they’re not there; when we overhear something positive and then we make sure we go back to that person and say, “Do you know, I was just saying this about you?” or “I heard so and so saying this nice thing about you“. That’s gossip, too; we just don’t usually label it as gossip because it’s not negative or toxic.  It’s doing more of that, and focusing and looking for the things that are working. That’s resource gossip.

One of the key words is intentional? It’s about being intentional about remembering to do that and taking the time to say something nice behind people’s back, instead of “rawr”.

The “rawr” could be that there’s something that folks are unhappy with. But what we like to say is, “a complaint is a poorly worded request”.  So what if this person’s being negative, or they’re complaining, or even if they’re negatively gossiping about something else; what is something that is greatness within that person, that they’re just doing a great job of masking? And so we can actually say something positive about this person. And how cool is it – and Michael talks about this in his book, The Humour Advantage – when we have some element of surprise? It can have a bigger impact. So if we are speaking about somebody who normally is “rawr” about us or about somebody else, if we say something positively, positive about them, and it gets back to them? Talk about shifting the dynamics. Maybe all of a sudden this place isn’t so bad; maybe I’m not such a bad person because I can see some good things about them.

All of us want to be known, heard and understood. That’s what it really comes down to, is seeing things about every one of the people that we work with, as having some – even if we have to really search for it – having something that’s working, and acknowledging it, whether they’re there or not.

Michael acknowledges saying something nice behind their back and loves the phrase, “a complaint is a poorly worded request”.  Imagine the impact, if everybody started doing this a little more intentionally, the impact that that would spiral upwards into your culture, to create a more positive, happier, more engaged workplace!

“There is more hunger for love and appreciation in this world than for bread.”

– Mother Teresa

Judy Kucharuk

Director, Marketing and Special Events, Encana Events Centre

"Funny, full of energy and incredibly motivating – all words to use when describing Sarah and her passionate stage presence. We were fortunate to have Sarah join us as a speaker for Spark Women’s Leadership Conferences and her presentations about leveraging greatness hit the core of our objective at SPARK: “A rising tide lifts all boats”. I would not hesitate to recommend Sarah to other organizations that are searching for a well-prepared, well-organized, thoughtful and passionate storyteller."
Shelley VanVeen

Learning & Development Manager, Libro Credit Union

"Sarah brought so much energy and enthusiasm to our International Women’s Day event at Libro! Her message was uplifting, thought-provoking and truly appreciated by our team. Dealing with Sarah was wonderful – she was open, professional and willing to work with us to customize her message to incorporate our culture and connect to our topic and participants. During the session, she was a pro with a powerful message and a fantastic delivery. We had wonderful feedback from all that attended and can’t wait to have Sarah back for another session in the future!"
Sylvia D’Intino

Executive Director, Community Living Hamilton

"THANK YOU so very much for leading the engagement activities today! You’re a constant professional, with an amazing attitude and always seeing the great in everyone. I am grateful for how you have helped us this year to transform our in-person staff recognition events into virtual and on-location events. Our staff feel more inspired, appreciated and motivated after they hear you speak, and I know our amazing in-house team here looks forward to designing engaging appreciation events with your support."
Melissa Chaulk

Manager of Professional Development

Canadian Dental Hygienists Association

"We work hard at CDHA to give our members a wonderful conference experience, so we were thrilled to have received resoundingly positive feedback on Sarah's opening plenary keynote. It was the highest attended of the entire conference for both dates!"
Jamie Campbell

Director, The Center for People in Organizational Development, Sheridan College

"Smart, challenging, innovative, committed, dependable, and reliable, I highly recommend her for all your recognition needs. I have brought Sarah into my last two organizations to help build a culture of recognition and celebration. The focus on appreciation is more important now than ever."

Some of the Great Organizations We Serve