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Tag Archives: company grapevine

When it comes to managing the rumour mill, partial information is better than no information

rumour millThe ancient philosopher Aristotle said Horror vacui, or “Nature abhors a vacuum.” His point was that if a vacuum exists in the physical world, it is only momentary, as it immediately fills with the material surrounding it, without any regard as to what the substance is.  It doesn’t matter if the neighbouring material is similar, or of the needed quality, or even if it is suitable for the purpose, it immediately moves to fill the vacuum.  The same principle is at work in organizations, specifically to do with communication and more specifically, the organization’s rumour mill.  In fact, I wrote about using the company grapevine to your advantage in one of my regular columns in The Globe and Mail, back in March 2015!

Just as nature abhors a vacuum, people in organizations also abhor vacuums … in information. When there is a lack of knowledge – about people, about processes, about upcoming plans and changes – information, accurate or not, immediately moves in to fill the vacuum.  And ironically, the larger the vacuum, the more incorrect and outlandish is what moves in to fill it.

Managing the rumour mill

Which leads me to the point of this article.  The best way to combat rumours, misinformation, and the general distortions and fabrications that seem to take hold in just about every organization is to continually and deliberately offer correct, quality information to fill the void.  Even if it is incomplete!  Continue reading

Take the toxins out of office gossip

My newest column in The Globe & Mail‘s Leadership Lab series hit cyberspace this morning.

Take the toxins out of office gossip

is about how leaders need to make it unequivocally clear that negative gossip about others is never acceptable in the workplace. There IS a difference between trivial banter and negative gossip, and it’s up to leaders to establish a zero-tolerance policy, AND model the behaviour they expect from others. Click on the link above for a further explanation.

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I am now in my second year of writing regular columns for The Globe‘s Report on Business, and I am so excited and thankful that they continue to generate so much interest and dialogue. It’s only when we talk to one another about the issues that we face that we become even better leaders than we already are. So please share your thoughts; I’m eagerly looking forward to your reactions and perspectives. Add your viewpoint to The Globe‘s website, or if you wish, respond on our blog, drop me an email or send me a tweet (@mergespeaks).

And please do me one more favour – help me get the word out … pass the link along to your staff and colleagues. I’d love to hear their perspectives – whether they agree or disagree – as well!

I’m looking forward to hearing from you. Here is a direct link to the article in case you need to cut and paste it elsewhere: http://tgam.ca/EJ2W

Use the company grapevine to your advantage

My latest column in The Globe & Mail‘s Leadership Lab series is out today!

Make the company grapevine work for you

Today’s focus is on the company grapevine (also known as the rumour mill and bush telegraph) which causes so much grief to so many managers and supervisors. My premise – don’t fight the grapevine, use it to your advantage! The company rumour mill is unavoidable, so smart leaders make it work for them!

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I am very honoured that my columns for The Globe‘s Report on Business continue to garner so much interest. My hope is that I bring up a subject that resonates with many. And my objective is to get conversations started – that’s how we all become even better leaders than we already are! So as always, I eagerly await your reactions and perspectives. It’s a short read and I hope that you find it relevant and thought-provoking. Add your viewpoint to The Globe‘s website, or if you wish, drop me an email or send me a tweet (@mergespeaks).

And please help me get the word out and get the message to as many as possible … pass the link along to your staff and colleagues. I’d love their thoughts as well! Opposing viewpoints always welcome!

I’m looking forward to hearing from you. Here is a direct link to the article in case you need to cut and paste it elsewhere: http://tgam.ca/EI5G