A growing addiction and ailment called bad-mouthing

An Authored article by Mr. Niranjan Gidwani, Consultant Director | Member UAE Superbrands Council | Charter Member Tie Dubai | Hbr Advisory Council

We have all heard the saying, “If you can’t say anything nice, don’t say anything at all.” Never is this theory more fitting than in the present-day context. At some time or other, we have all witnessed individuals working for decades in the same organizations yet bad-mouthing the same organizations whenever and wherever they get the opportunity.  

Just go as an observer to gatherings, professional meets, functions, and get-togethers, and watch keenly. The moment someone we have met is out of earshot, more often than not, we hear that person being bad-mouthed. This ever-increasing malaise is now beginning to spread even to families and close circles of friends. It is even considered a social quality good to possess.

This behavior needs to be seriously introspected by each of us. It is highly unprofessional and potentially disastrous. Such behavior poorly reflects our integrity and credibility and undermines the reputation and morale of the institutions we represent and the cultural background we wish to uphold.
Of late, one gets to see more and more instances of extremely abusive content and posts on social media platforms, including Linkedin. Regardless of how justified we are, or feel, in making such bold statements, targeting specific individuals, organizations, or even family members, is just not done. In one post on a social media platform, the person explained that after several years on the job, he quit and was done with the toxic environment he endured since day one. This person further said that the management was terrible, the place was awful, and the level of toxicity was making him physically ill. One wonders why this individual took decades to come to this realization.

Even though this may be an unfortunate situation for quite a few, this kind of bad-mouthing is just not done, and over time, it does grow into a severe ailment and habit. 

In another post, a very senior person was even more specific towards the bosses and the organization, using uncouth language. As a professional, sharing such information on any social media platform is terrible, and nothing good comes from such behavior. It only reflects on our upbringing.

Of late, even political posts and videos have been growing on Linkedin. Provocative posts, photos, videos, racist or discriminatory remarks, and misleading about qualifications – all point towards a lack of understanding of using social platforms correctly and responsibly. It is essential to note that LinkedIn is not Facebook or any other form of social media, nor is it our podium to share specific negative experiences. Linkedin is a platform where members manage their professional identity and build their brand. It is an area to engage with our professional network and access knowledge, insights, and opportunities. It should be considered uplifting and advantageous to our personal and professional growth.

Realistically, quitting our job is okay if the organization is not the right fit. Those who complain constantly have to be brave enough to take that call. It is equally normal for organizations to re-structure and downsize, sometimes for the right reasons and sometimes erroneously. 

Maybe for some, the situation or circumstances were not ideal. Yet, the best way is to identify specific issues or individuals where clarification may be required or sought. It is another matter that the clarification may or may not come, depending upon individuals’ level of ethics and maturity.

The two Cardinal Rules are – 

a) Work is just a tiny fraction of our lives. Not the other way around. 

b) Good Relationships supersede all else. 

Therefore, it is far more productive to address concerns constructively, seek solutions through open dialogue, and work towards fostering positive and supportive life-long relationships. This can only happen through reciprocity if all sides are willing to live by the same yardstick. And this philosophy applies to all aspects of one’s life, not just work.

Speaking ill about the entire organization’s ownership or washing one’s dirty linen in public is not done. 

In the first 35 years of life, yours had also been affected by the same ailment. Yet, like regularly going to the gym, conscious, constant working is required to avoid this ailment.The best route is to take the moral high road, accept reality and gracefully move on. What happens to us is an event. How we process, perceive, and interpret that event becomes our experience.

Being pushed out of the train at the railway station in South Africa was an event for Gandhiji. He could have gone into depression. However, the way he chose to process and interpret that event became a turning point, not only for him but also for a great nation.
This article was shared with Prittle Prattle News as an authored article.
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