Success Factors

Self Management


Truth or tattle

Chatting and storytelling make the world go round, particularly in work. Often people share their thoughts and opinions and this is all good and healthy to build relationships. One thing to watch out for is hearing people speak negatively of others, particularly if there is no real fact or evidence to support negative comments. We all have opinions, the art of good relationships is to know when to keep those opinions to ourselves.

The little story below is a fable but worth reading, how many of us remember being told ‘if you can't say something nice say nothing at all’

A man spread gossip that his neighbour was a thief and as a result, the neighbour was arrested. Following a short trial, the neighbour was proven innocent as there was no truth in the gossip. When he was released the neighbour felt humiliated and very angry about being wrongly arrested so he sued the man for wrongly accusing him. In court, the man told the Judge, “They were just comments I had heard around the place and they didn’t really harm anyone.” 

The judge listened carefully to the evidence and before passing sentence on the case, told the man, “Write All the things you said about your neighbour on a piece of paper. Cut them up and on the way home, throw the pieces of paper out, tomorrow, come back to hear the sentence”.

The next day, the man appeared in court ready to be sentenced but the judge said: “Before receiving the sentence, you will have to go out and gather all the pieces of paper you threw out yesterday”.  The man said, “I can’t do that! the wind will have blown them in a hundred different places and I won’t know where to find them”.

The judge replied, “That is the same way, gossip can destroy someone’s reputation to such an extent that it cannot be fixed.  The man realised his mistake and asked for forgiveness.

People who speculate about what might or might not be true, bad mouth, gossip or undermine others are likely to do that same to you so avoid getting involved and avoid joining in making negative comments. Make sure you get a good reputation in work by being positive and supportive of other people it pays off in the long run.

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