Okay so in one of our previous discussions, we mentioned a guy named Tom Corley who wrote a book called Rich Habits: The Daily Success Habits of Wealthy Individuals. One of the many points he makes from his research is that just under 80% of the poor are admitted gossipers, but only 6% of the rich are. In an interview, he talked a bit about how some wealthy entrepreneurs have No-Gossip policies to which all under their employ are required to adhere. So now, if you’re anything like me, you must be wondering three things: 1) Why do the wealthy make such a strong point not to engage in gossip? 2) How does this huge difference in values/priorities (whatever it is) relate to one group being so significantly more financially well off than the other? And 3) What in the WORLD does this have to do with #RaisingBlackMillionaires, Thiah!
Well, questions 1 and 2 I think I can answer together. People who are wealthy, especially self-made wealth creators, are very focused on their goals and the steps it takes to achieve their goals. One of the points made in the interview was that gossip destroys the spirits of cohesion and productivity in the work place, because it instead serves as a destructive element. In other words, spending time and energy gossiping takes away from the necessary time and energy to produce desired results. It can actually work against the accomplishment of those desired results. If it has that effect in the work place, it’s reasonable to conclude that it has the same disruptive/destructive effect in our individual lives.
Now, for all of my sisters who rolled their necks at me when asking question number 3, #RaisingBlackMillionaires is all about the complete development of habits and thought processes that lead to wealth building and maintenance. I think it’s fair to say that children learn to gossip. It’s not one of those activities that we naturally grow into, like crawling, walking, babbling, and talking. So, let’s consider a few things we can do to prevent our children from developing the disruptive, unproductive habit of gossip.
Tip #1: Just say no to gossip!
You know how sometimes you may be heavily into a conversation on the phone, loud as all get-out? If those conversations are rooted in gossip where our children can hear the details of our talks, then they will simply pickup the activities of the examples in front of them. In other words, if we stop demonstrating to them how to gossip and condoning it through our demonstrations, our children will have far less of a tendency to engage in such behavior.
Let’s be clear, in this world, it’s a bit of a challenge to not consume and take part in gossip. But then again, just like being wealthy, if it were easy, everyone would do it. And just like I tell my children, “just because it’s hard, doesn’t mean it can’t be done.” With the advent of celebrity gossip programs, talk shows that devote several segments to gossip, and reality shows that should be renamed Gossip TV, our society is drunk with gossip consumption and reproduction. When our children watch these shows or even just see us watch them and/or talk about them, it gives them the impression that it’s acceptable behavior that is normal and okay to mimic. It actually takes effort to disallow it to enter into your world. But, it can definitely be done, and is certainly worth it. So, “May The Force Be With You.”
Sometimes we may hear our children and others (perhaps even ourselves) mindlessly say unflattering things about others seemingly with no productive purpose. If we train our children to look for the positive in others by inverting their negative statements into positives, this will give them the greater gift of finding the good in others and situations that may seem unsavory or undesirable. That is, in my opinion, the greater achievement. An example would be your son coming to you and saying, “I really can’t stand it when he raises his hand to work out problems on the board, because he always gets the answers wrong.” Your response could be, “I can understand how that may be frustrating, but I admire his eagerness to try and willingness to be corrected. It takes a special person to withstand constant correction and maintain the humility to learn, son.”
Hopefully these tips will help us all to develop non-gossipers in our journey of #RaisingBlackMillionaires. What do you think? Do you have any other tips readers can use to groom their children to be non-gossipers? Let us know in the comments below, using the #RaisingBlackMillionaires. Until next time, be fruitful.