The Energizer

Resilient Insights for Work & Life

Resilient Organizations Increase Trust & Reduce Gossip

by Eileen McDargh, Chief Energy Officer - Monday, September 24, 2018
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A recent study published in the journal, Science shows that it does. Authors Soroush Vosoughi, Deb Roy, and Sinan Aral studied 126,000 twitter chains involving three million people. What they found was that falsehoods were 70% more likely to be retweeted than factual information.

Why are we so willing to share lies? While not part of the study, the authors did see data that indicated that the novelty of false information attracts human attention and can make both the person sharing and receiving to feel β€œin the know.” In other words, gossip and rumors are powerful because they offer the illusion of secret knowledge and power.

What does this mean at work? Quite simply, if you want to lessen rumors, falsehoods, and gossip you need to communicate as a team regularly.

Weekly team meetings are important. When done right, an investment of one hour per week has the potential to not only curb gossip but improves trust and communication between team members.

We suggest that a weekly meeting includes 3 elements; trust building, Information sharing and personal development.

  • Trust building - Every meeting should start with a few minutes of people sharing not only work-related issues but things that are impacting people away from work. The more we know each other, the more we can build trust.
  • Information sharing – What data do people need to better understand the organization and their role in it. The more that is shared, the less opportunity there is to make things up.
  • Personal development – Improving soft skills, personal attributes that enable someone to interact effectively and harmoniously with other people is an investment that will net positive long-term results.

Invest an hour a week in team meetings. Encourage communication, information sharing, and personal growth. You will like the return on investment.

This guest post is courtesy of Todd Adams, CEO of Star Thrower, a video distribution firm that handles videos by Dewitt Jones, Joel Barker, and yes—yours truly.


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Eileen McDargh Keynote Speaker Blog Author

About Eileen!

Since beginning her consulting and training practice in 1980, Eileen has become noted for her ability to speak the truth with clarity, wisdom, humor and compassion. Long-standing clients and repeat engagements attest to her commitment to make a difference in minds, hearts and spirits of organizations and individuals. She draws upon practical business know-how, life's experiences and years of consulting to major national and international organizations that have ranged from global pharmaceuticals to the US Armed Forces, from health care associations to religious institutions. Executive Excellence magazine selected her as one of the top 100 thought leaders in leadership and among the top ten consultant providers of leadership development.

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