5 Easy Strategies to Manage the Company Rumor Mill

Some call it the grapevine; others call it hearsay. No matter what you call it, it can be problematic and distracting yet often a source of valuable information, so I recommend you don’t ignore it. If you aren’t talking proactively about issues that are important to your employees, chances are that someone else is.

Talk to Your Managers When Employees are Buzzing About a Crisis

All organizations have a rumor mill. It’s a natural part of the employee network. And as much as leaders would like to shut it down, you can’t. But you can manage it.

Here are 5 easy strategies for managing the company rumor mill:

Related Articles

Do You Talk Too Much? Let Me Count the Ways!

You talk too much, You worry me to death, You talk too much, You even worry my pet…

The above lyrics, from the song You Talk Too Much by Joe Jones, sum up a communication distraction that many people have in the workplace – not expressing themselves succinctly.

If you over-talk, you may limit your opportunities for advancement. Other consequences are that people may not want to work for you, or do business with you. 

Talking too much is not limited to individuals in any one profession. I have coached IT directors, chief financial officers, sales directors, and marketing managers who needed to learn how to express themselves in fewer words.

But you can’t eliminate what you don’t know you are doing. Pay attention to how you communicate. Do any of the following examples of over-talking apply to you?

1. Giving too much information. During a meeting, a supervisor was asked where he had bought his watch. Instead of saying something like, “At a great local store when I was on vacation in San Francisco,” he went into a five-minute monologue about searching six different stores to find the perfect watch. If people need more detail, they will ask you. One IT director eliminated a lot of the detail in his emails, but added a closing sentence: “If you need additional information, just let me know.” So far, no one has asked!

2. Using too many words. Instead of “Let’s get together next week,” the person might say, “I was just thinking that, you know, if you have some time and are not busy, we ought to get together next week.” Say what you need to say in as few words as necessary.

3. Repeating the same thing over and over. Make your comments, and then shut your mouth! Repeating your points can annoy others.  

4. Repeating what someone said in different words. Some repetition can confirm to the other person that you have heard what he or she has said. But in a group meeting, too much repetition can be viewed as one-upmanship – the need to let everyone know that you also knew that information.

5. Offering your opinion when it’s not necessary. This can happen if you don’t read the cues from other meeting participants that no more discussion is needed; or if you insist on offering additional points at the end of a meeting when everyone else is ready to leave. 

 6. Correcting when it’s not necessary. Do you feel compelled to point out small mistakes in other people’s information? You can come off as a nit-picker when you correct things of little consequence.

Once you realize that you’re an over-talker, you can work to eliminate this habit.

Ask a trusted colleague or coach to help. This person can point out when you are talking too much. You can also use your voicemail system. Listen to how you describe something on the messages you leave for others. If you are too wordy, redo the message. Or, come up with a unique solution that works for you. One manager puts the initials KIS at the top of his papers to remind himself to Keep It Short when he speaks at meetings.

Additional information on annoying communication habits can be found in my books, The Communication Clinic and The Essentials of Business Etiquette: How to Greet, Eat, and Tweet Your Way to Success.

Pachter & Associates provides training and coaching on communication skills. For additional information, contact Joyce Hoff at 856.751.6141 or joyce@pachter.com

RWA, others ask FCC to delay former Sprint CDMA network shutdown

As Dish Network works to delay T-Mobile US’ plans to sunset the former Sprint CDMA network on which many of Dish’s Boost Mobile customers still rely, the Rural Wireless Association has joined with seven other groups in sending a letter to the Federal Communications Commission asking the agency to weigh in and delay the network […]

The post RWA, others ask FCC to delay former Sprint CDMA network shutdown appeared first on RCR Wireless News.

The Four Questions Leaders Must Answer During Any Change

Chances are you’re working today on a change that affects your team. How you implement that change will impact whether you meet your overall goals. 

Here’s the mistake leaders can’t help but make: they wait to communicate. Until they have more information. Until they have “all the answers.” Until it’s often too late. 

The result is that someone else is doing the talking – whether they’re right or wrong – and it’s feeding the grapevine. Worse yet, what employees then surmise is happening in their minds usually is much worse than the planned change.

The Sunday Brief: Q1 earnings preview—setting expectations

Tax Day greetings from the middle of Texas (the iconic Underwood’s Cafeteria sign is pictured – it’s definitely a Texas thing) and from Davidson/ Lake Norman.  Feels good to be on the road again.  This week, we will divide our time between first quarter earnings preview for Verizon and AT&T (both scheduled to report this […]

The post The Sunday Brief: Q1 earnings preview—setting expectations appeared first on RCR Wireless News.

Delegate or Drown: 5 Easy Steps to Effective Delegation

Marcel Schwantes  posted a great story in INC., sharing some of Warren Buffet’s top leadership advice. One of the key points was: “Learn to delegate your authority” So, I thought I’d share some of my best delegation advice from more than 20 years of helping leaders and business owners avoid drowning in tasks and responsibilities […]