How To Put A Stop To Office Gossip (It’s Easier Than You Think)

Justin Zack
2 min readJan 24, 2024

If your office, or Slack, is rife with gossip, you’ve got a communication problem.

And 99% of the time it’s because you haven’t communicated a decision.

Here’s what I know:

Once you make a decision, you start to act in a way that aligns with the future reality.

Great, when you are leading yourself.

But not so great when you are responsible for a team.

Because you, the decision maker, live with the current reality, knowing that the future reality is going to change. Which means you have to move forward with it — as fast as you can.

When you don’t communicate a decision, it forces you to live in incongruence.

A decision without communication forces you to lie.

A delay in communicating any decision creates incongruence and suspicion in those around you who aren’t aware of the decision. So when you don’t communicate your decisions, there’s a gap between what you know and what everyone else knows. And your behavior doesn’t match what everyone else believes.

There’s a decision.

There’s a revelation.

And the gap between decision and revelation creates incongruence — mis-alignment.

The minute you make a decision that impacts other people, your goal should be to close the alignment gap.

Because the longer that gap exists, the more you have to tell two stories. And the more people become suspicious, backchannel, and end up being less productive because, well, gossip.

Conversely, when decisions are promptly and transparently communicated, trust remains higher, leading to better team alignment and improved productivity. When people know what’s happening and understand the decisions being made, they feel more confident and motivated, which can lead to increased productivity and smoother teamwork.

Bottom line:

The time between a decision and acting on a decision is critical — for you and any people you lead.

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Justin Zack

Project leader. Product thinker. Write about human things. Find me at justinzack.com