I have a direct that has, on a couple occasions, giving me what I consider gossip. It is, I believe, intended to be helpful information for me, however, when I press this direct for further detail, he becomes vague.

In the latest case, he informed me of some grumblings of other people in regards to some new office space we are getting ready to move into, and that others are unhappy that my group will be getting additional office space to use for equipment and computers needed for the group function. I asked him to tell me who he is hearing these grumblings from, and he does not provide an answer.

Should I give feedback to this direct, telling him I do not want this type of information if he cannot provide detail, or should I let him continue with this "confidential informant" role?

jrosenau's picture

If the information isn't actionable, I'd ask your direct to stop.  If he has a concern, he needs  to tell you.  If he hears that others have concerns, then he needs to ask them to voice that concern to the appropriate people.

I think some people will always grumble about any organizational change - so I'd also tell him to take what he hears with a grain of salt. 


naraa's picture

 I find that gossip is never any good.  I don't necesarly tell them to stop because some people need to voice it out and sometimes are so lost they need some advice on what to do.   The advice i give them is always to Encourage them to sort the issue out directly with the people involved, and do that with specific data and also looking at the other side of the story.  When it is something as general as the example you are giving i sort of ignore it.  I say sort of because i myself start to pay more attention to the issue if indeed it is something important.  But i get information observing directly, i dont ask the people to give me further details.  You cannot really get any facts from gossip.

I find it a bit tricky.  I don't directly tell them to stop the gossip because some people have a hard time differentiating gossip from a real concern.  But they learn soon enough by the way you respond to the "news" how and which concerns to bring to you and which not to.