A friend of mine, Kevin Thomas McCarney, wrote Big Brain Little Brain. In the book, he talks about positive gossip. 

Positive gossip is exactly what it sounds like. Instead of talking negatively about others, talk positively about them. Just like gossip spreads, positive gossip spreads. And the person you’re gossiping about positively will hear it, want to do more of it, and have a better day because they heard it. 

But there’s a catch. This positive gossip or compliment has to be sincere. There is a big difference between sincerity and flattery. 

Flattery is excessive and insincere praise given especially to further one’s own interests, while sincerity is saying what one genuinely feels or believes, free of pretense or deceit. 

Humans are smart. They can see through flattery. Oh, and body language plays a role in this too! Here’s a real-world example of how different the two of them are: 

  • Flattery: walking into an office and saying, “Hey, good job on that report,” and walking away. 
  • Sincerity: walking into an office with a warm smile and saying, “Hey, good job on that report. It was really thoughtful, and I could tell you put a lot of time and effort into it. Thank you for that.” 

Do you see and hear the difference? Sincerity matters. If you don’t feel or believe your words, don’t say anything. 

This week, I challenge you to think of some positive gossip you could spread. For example, did someone on your team turn an unhappy client into a raving fan? Did someone go above and beyond to help a co-worker? 

Good things are going on all around us, so be aware and spread sincere appreciation! 

Life is good. – Jeff

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