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I have observed gossip. I work at a school with wonderful teachers, but the parents sometimes engage in destructive gossip. One person will be upset and say something to another person, who will interpret it as gospel even if there are inaccuracies. Then it spreads. Bad news always spreads faster. They say a happy customer may tell no one or one or two people, but an unhappy one will tell ten!
I think there has been a lot of miscommunication and just overall negative communication in my experience. Usually the employees have a (negative) perception of the boss and the job and these perceptions will be the focus of conversation among co-workers. My former bosses have not been a pleasure to work for, thus when they communicate with me or other employees, it was usually a tense and stressful situation.
Unfortunately, I have witnessed mainly unilateral communication--the teachers communicate with one another, and the administration communicates amongst itself; there is very little communication otherwise.
Additionally, as lrwilliams noted, we spend most of our time communicating digitally, through e-mail (especially attachments), postings on our websites, and voice messages.
I think with the advancement of technology I am seeing more and more communication being carried out by e-mail, text messaging or some sort of chat system. I see land less face to face communication than in the past.
As a teacher, I have observed gossip among teachers about students and other teachers. For this reason, I avoid the teacher's lounge and the cafeteria. These conversations are never positive, and it's too easy to get sucked into the negativity. Frequently communication is not personalized. For example, information in faculty meetings is generalized so that everyone receives it whether it is directed at them or not.
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