This piece of advice is offered by mothers everywhere: If you can’t say something nice, don’t say anything at all.

How well do we take that advice – especially at work?

In this last podcast on Shaping Your Culture, we explore what managers can do to discourage hearsay, gossip, rumors and speaking negatively about people in their absence.

This may be one of the most important things a manager can do to cultivate an appreciative culture with an abundance mindset in which people feel valued and actively nurture the positive relationships that build trust, enhance engagement and optimize performance.

Listen in to this week’s podcast as we discuss questions like these:

  • Why are we even talking about gossip and hearsay? Aren’t they just part of life?
  • What alternatives do managers have when they encounter hearsay and gossip? (We provide a very specific set of responses that can stop gossip in its tracks.)
  • How does your response to this kind of communication impact your credibility as a leader and influence how other people behave in the future?
  • What cultural alternative can emerge when you break the cycle of negativity?
  • Why does speaking negatively about people who leave your organization hurt your ability to both recruit and retain great people in the future? What can you do instead?

We hope you’ll try out some of the suggestion in this week’s podcast or read about them yourself in Managing to Make a Difference. We love hearing your questions and responses. Please feel free to share them in a comment or by connecting with one of us on LinkedIn (see links to our profiles below).

Until next time, manage to make a difference every day!

 + Larry Sternberg, J.D. and Kim Turnage, Ph.D.


This post highlights Chapters 60, 61 and 42 of Managing to Make a Difference (Wiley), a handbook for hitting the sweet spot of middle management. Click here to see posts on previous chapters. Connect with Kim Turnage and Larry Sternberg on LinkedIn to see their latest updates.

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