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Gossip –why is it overwhelmingly a positive social practice?

Course Type:
1 hour
CPD Hours:
1 hours
AHRI Members:
Course contact:

Thursday 9th February 2017
12:00PM- 1.00PM (AEDST)
*Please note online registrations close 24 hours prior to the webinar commencing

When we know about human instincts we can make sense of why people do what they do. And having made sense we can make good decisions for our HR and leadership practices. In this webinar we are looking at Gossip.

Every social species grooms. Whereas chimps groom physically, we with our incredible vocal capability groom through chit-chat. The practice of grooming is fundamental to harmonious group relationships.  

So no wonder:

  • The informal grapevine is extremely effective – faster and often more reliable than the formal channels.
  • That people engage in rumour and make up their own stories – especially when change is not particularly well implemented.
  • Leaders who spend no informal time with people have poor quality relationships with their team.

Wherever in the world we work or travel, we find that people gossip. It’s what humans do. With the insight into why we do it, we transform our thinking and how we use this behaviour to build good HR practice.

Learning Objectives and Outcomes

In this webinar you will discover:

  1. What is gossip?
  2. Why is it fundamentally a prosocial behaviour?
  3. The 7 ways to use gossip productively.
  4. The “gossip test” and how can we incorporate this dimension in HR practices.
  5. How can we make sense of team dynamics through grooming patterns?
  6. The 4 reasons why people engage in rumour (when things are uncertain).

Andrew O’Keeffe is the director of Hardwired Humans, a management consulting firm that helps organisations align their leadership practices to human instincts. Andrew is author of Hardwired Humans and The Boss. His background is in senior HR roles in IBM, Optus, SKM and Hewitt Associates. Early in his career he worked in industrial relations in the mining and manufacturing industries.

Andrew O

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