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Heather Townsend

The Excedia Group


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8 questions to ask yourself before you contribute to the firm’s grapevine


On a 'slow day' at work, one of the few pleasures available to you is to indulge in finding out the gossip. However, take a moment and stop before you start a good old gossip. Keeping your ear to the ground is one thing, passing on gossip is another. Adding to your firm's grapevine can be a seriously career limiting move. So, here are 8 questions to ask yourself BEFORE you share some information:

  • Why am I sharing this?
  • Does it create or solve a problem?
  • Do people really need to know this?
  • If I choose to not tell anyone, will the firm be any worse off?
  • Am I name-dropping?
  • Have I labeled facts as facts and opinions as opinions?
  • Will this be considered grassing, gossiping or cutting down another person or group?
  • In the worst case, how could this person use this information so that it could reflect badly on me?

What other things should you think about before sharing any information?

2 Responses

  1. Networking by water cooler

    Sound advice in your key points.I would add to them the mantra/question I always train managers/staff to put in their heads when dealing with a disciplinary, grievance or customer complaint. The question is: WHERE COULD THIS GO NEXT?

    The situations I train people in ,leading up to tribunals, are almost analogous to your excellent portrait. The questions "where could this go next?" reminds us that the situation could start off one shape, end up another and sometimes have an outcome that nobody could have predicted or indeed have desired!! Where could it go next? – a director dealing with an appeal,a clever barrister on the other side, an employment judge or,god forbid, the front page of the DAILY MAIL!!!


    QED Training

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Heather Townsend


Read more from Heather Townsend

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