Introvert Barriers: 6 Ways Office Gossip can be good for your career
As a Leader, much less an introvert, gossip or participating in it may seem beneath you. It may even sound like something you never thought of, because as an introvert, you are focused on your deliverables.
Is this you?
If it is, I’m going to give you reasons why being in the “flow’ of office chatter makes all kinds of sense to your upward growth. You’re going to want to print this out, because you have some things to do.
1. You must be a cultural “fit”. We all have to integrate into our workgroup. It’s not enough to come to work and simply do a great job. You have to be part of the group. Part of becoming a fit is the normal give-and-take, commonly known as office gossip. Even if all you do is your famous listening and occasional question, you will seem like part of the tribe.
2. You need to understand the politics. People are together = politics. That means there are people who influence, people who informally lead, and people who are loved one day and out the next. If you don’t understand the playing field, you will seem out of synch and naïve.
3. Make friends with the alpha dog. All groups have the informal leader, the person for whom the world revolves. This person influences up and down the food chain. This is a good person to know and be friends with, because their rich bounty of information and influence will help make you fit. (This isn’t as mercenary as it sounds. Most of the time these people are very charming and you’ll enjoy the relationship.)
4. Contribute without giving away your soul. The biggest issue you might have with gossip is that it can damage others, depending on the nature of it. You can avoid the vicious gossip by sharing things you’ve done or asking questions about what’s being said. If you see two top managers huddling together, ask what’s going on.
5. Look at this as relationship building. One of our biggest giveaways when investing in relationships is our time. The interaction doesn’t have to be deep or meaningful, just look at it as spending time getting to know your fellow workers.
6. Learn how things work. Often times what might be viewed as gossip is actually talk about how things really do work. You can learn a lot of informal process this way. You don’t want to reinvent the wheel.
I often suggest to my clients to look at this kind of chatter as part of their training and relationship development. As you climb up the management food chain, it’s not what you know, but who you know that will matter.
You don’t learn this kind of thing in B-School. That’s why I’m here. I share hard-learned facts that can make your climb much easier. Let me share with you other vital career growth insights and tools. You can access my newsletter for FREE – it’s full of ongoing information and tips you won’t see anywhere else. When you sign up, you will receive for FREE “Should I Stay or Should I Go?” eworkbook that will help you improve your situation at work today. Get your copy of “Should I Stay or Should I Go!”
This is brought to you by Dorothy Tannahill-Moran, Introvert Whisperer & Climbing Managers Champion at: www.nextchapternewlife.com.