Why Gossip Backfires

“Personal integrity generates trust….  Lack of integrity can undermine almost any other effort to create high trust accounts.  People can seek to understand, remember the little things, keep their promises, clarify and fulfill expectations, and still fail to build reserves of trust if they are inwardly duplicitous.

“Integrity includes but goes beyond honesty.  Honesty is telling the truth – in other words, conforming our words to reality.  Integrity is conforming reality to our words….  keeping promises and fulfilling expectations….

“One of the most important ways to manifest integrity is to be loyal to those who are not present.  In doing so, we build the trust of those who are present.  When you defend those who are absent, you retain the trust of those present.  …

“(when you gossip) You may get the golden egg of temporary pleasure from putting someone down or sharing privileged information, but you’re strangling the goose, weakening the relationship that provides enduring pleasure in association.”

Confrontation takes considerable courage, and many people would prefer to take the course of least resistance, belittling and criticizing, betraying confidences, or participating in gossip about others behind their backs.  But in the long run, people will trust and respect you if you are honest and open and kind with them.”

Not everyone will appreciate someone who refuses to participate in gossip or cruel jokes of others – in fact, I’ve encountered a few people in life who mandate that their friends act this way, and will make you out to be an Enemy if you disapprove of their behavior!  🙂  But what does that matter?  People who have this weakness in character are never truly happy anyway, and it is much better to be friends with those who you know would never stab you in the back.

In the work environment, it is devastating to your reputation to display this kind of behavior… associates or your employees will never fully trust you, and you risk losing their loyalty – and in business, loyalty is everything.

It is MUCH better to have integrity and keep people around you who you trust and who trust you – keep those few people close, don’t let them go.  They are treasures in this life… true gems.


(quotes from Stephen Covey’s 7 Habits of Highly Effective People)

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