I’ve seen it in the media, in workplaces, in churches – and what’s most unfortunate is that this very small number of very loud naysayers prevent organizations from making the right, necessary changes toward progress for fear of the “they” and “everyone” that are misrepresented as a majority – they are not.
Why doesn’t the same hold true with positive messages? Consider this dream sequence … an organization makes a decision to cut all their benefits in half and the one or two people who think that it was a good idea start a water-cooler stir that permeates the whole staff and before you know it “everyone” thinks it is a great idea to cut benefits and “they” are very happy with management’s decision… and then we wake up.
The solution? Next time complains to you about something that 1) you don’t actually have a problem with and 2) you do not have the power or authority to change, direct him or her to the person empowered to address it and LET IT DROP. Don’t contribute to the exponential growth of “they” and “everyone” – be a part of the solution by not perpetuating the gossip. Better yet, if you're happy with the decisions or changes, don't keep it a secret and allow people to assume the opposite simply because of the company you keep at the water cooler.