This week’s tip can be interpreted a couple of ways. I am going to focus on it’s similarity to gossip and not the larger issue of what is truth. Too often people are talking about things in the workplace that simply are not true and it’s harming the entire organization. Here’s an example of that destructive behavior:

Employee #1 says to employee #2 that he heard that the company might be filing for bankruptcy and letting everyone go. Employee #2 doesn’t ask where employee #1 heard this but starts to think that it may be true, since upper management has taken away our 401 K and cut some of our vacation time. They’ve also let a couple of people go in each department. Now that employee #2 thinks about it, there has been a lot of whispering going on.

The problem is that it is not true. Yes, the organization is going through hard times (like everyone else) but they are not closing and are not filing for bankruptcy. Clearly, employee #1 is spreading gossip that has not been confirmed.

The lesson here

Don’t pass along knowledge that you have about the organization until you know it is true. If it’s not, it will only create panic and fear and you’ll lose all respect.