Is Gossiping Bullying

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Cover of Nasty People

ONE of Wall Street’s most feared traders declares that employees who gossip about co-workers will be fired for behaving like “slimy weasels”.

Self-made billionaire Ray Dalio’s list of rules to his 1000 employees detailing behaviour that he would not tolerate at his firm, Bridgewater Associates, was leaked onto the internet.

Mr Dalio, who is estimated to be worth $4.75 billion, said any staff members who were overhead gossiping maliciously about a colleague three times would be fired, The Australian reports.

“Never say anything about a person you wouldn’t say to him directly,” he wrote in the document, called ‘Dalio rules’.

“If you do, you are a slimy weasel.”

The rule cuts both ways, with company meetings stored in a “transparency library” so staff can find out what their managers are saying about them. In turn, bosses can hear any nasty nicknames they have acquired.

Mr Dalio said that his workers loved his anti-gossip rules which he claimed promoted honesty within the workplace.

Gossip is passive bullying

Gossip is considered a passive form of bullying, where the victim is undermined behind their back, experts say.

There are no exact figures on the level of workplace bullying in Australia but research shows that around one in five people have experienced bullying in the workplace.

One New York life coach, Beth Weissenberger, teaches executives to find the source of gossip and punish the rumour-monger.

“Everyone draws up their own definition of what makes harmful gossip,” Ms Weissenberger said.

“I am not talking about the silly stuff – celebrities are fair game – but the toxic spite and resentment which kills camaraderie and gets in the way of running a business.

“(However) I have not heard of people being fired for gossip: that is new.”

Article Source and to Read more: http://www.news.com.au/business/business-smarts/slimy-office-weasels-face-the-boot-says-billionaire-ray-dalio/story-e6frfm9r-1225887845362#ixzz0t2606Cm7

I read the above article with interest.  I am impressed with the stance thatelf-made billionaire Ray Dalio’s has taken however with 1000 employees this will be one company policy which will be hard to regulate.  Much will depend on whistle blowing by staff which in can can unsettle relationships between team members.  Sadly gossiping is something encountered amongs peers and colleagues, often playground behavour that has continued uncheck into adulthood and the workplace.  I will be interested to see how this is handled in practice and what the results are.


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Recommended Reading

Bullying at Work: How to Confront and Overcome it

Fighting Back: How to Fight Bullying In the Workplace by David Graves

Nasty People by Jay Carter

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