Principal Hotline: I Have a Staff Member Who is a Big Tattletale


Being a school principal can bring its fair share of challenges, one of which is dealing with a staff member who constantly tattles on others. It can disrupt the working environment and create conflicts among colleagues. Proper communication and management techniques are essential to tackle this issue and maintain harmony within the school.

Understanding the Issue:

Before taking any action, try to understand the staff member’s motivation for constantly reporting their colleagues. Sometimes people act this way out of insecurity, competitiveness, or to overcompensate for some personal issues. Understanding their reasons may help in addressing the problem effectively.

Addressing the Issue Privately:

Speaking privately with the staff member should be the initial step in tackling this issue. Discuss their tattling behavior openly and clearly express your expectations regarding professional conduct at work. Make sure to be both firm and empathetic during this conversation.

Establish Clear Guidelines:

Implementing clear guidelines for dealing with problematic behaviors by team members will promote a positive work environment and help prevent tattletale behavior. These guidelines should not only state acceptable behaviors but also provide proper channels for employees to communicate any legitimate problems or concerns without resorting to excessive tattling.

Encourage Open Communication:

Fostering an environment of open communication is key to reducing conflicts at work. Encourage all staff members to discuss any concerns they have openly, establishing regular meetings to keep everyone informed about what is going on in the school. In this way, individuals may no longer feel compelled to tattle in order to have their voices heard.

Promote Teamwork:

Tattling often stems from unhealthy competition among colleagues. Encouraging teamwork overall will promote a sense of collaboration instead of rivalry. Set team goals and recognize collective accomplishments, which should lessen the need for individuals to bring down others through constant reporting.

Providing Mentorship:

Sometimes, a staff member who engages in excessive tattling might need a mentor or coach to help guide their professional growth. Providing mentorship opportunities can help individuals reevaluate their behavior, eventually leading to more positive actions and interactions with fellow employees.

Documenting Incidents:

If this issue persists after taking all the steps mentioned above, it is essential to maintain detailed records of the staff member’s incidents of tattling. This documentation may eventually be presented as evidence during further actions or behavioral evaluations if needed.

Final Thoughts:

Dealing with a staff member who constantly reports on their colleagues can have a detrimental impact on the entire workplace. Through understanding the reasons behind their behavior, promoting open communication, and fostering a culture of teamwork and mentorship, it is possible to mitigate the effects of such behavior and maintain harmony within the institution.

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