The Need to Vent

Do you ever have one of those days where you just need to vent to the first warm body you find? I have one of those days about five times a week. I find it to be very effective.

Some might call it gossip, but I call it strategic communication. When you are frustrated and annoyed, there is nothing better than spilling all the juicy details with the nearest person — even an underling!

Venting allows several key things to occur.

First, you are spared an awkward confrontation with the person directly involved.

Second, it prevents you from forgetting an offense. It’s annoying when you’re angry about something only to forget what it was you were angry about! Never again. I’ll vent everything to someone else, which will keep the offense fresh in my mind.

Finally, when a leader vents, it improves communication by keeping those around you fully informed of the worst characteristics of those that have offended you. So how could it possibly be confused with gossip? Instead, think of it as a great way to improve communication within your company.

W. Albert Jameson, IV

On the other hand…
Leaders should share positives often, mentioning names and details freely. Leaders must be much more cautious with negatives to avoid gossiping. Why? Well, gossip is discussing anything negative with someone who can’t help solve the problem.

If you absolutely must vent, find a trusted friend and only share vague events without names or details to show respect.

Is there a safe place and time to vent? What are your conditions for healthy venting?