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There is a pernicious force that is the bane of any manager’s existence: gossip. Gossip can spread faster than a computer virus and be equally destructive. Gossip is negative and almost always incorrect, as children learn in the “whisper game.” It can undermine strategies, erode individual reputations and divide an organization into “us” vs. “them.”

One can only combat gossip with communication and culture. Well-informed colleagues are less likely to gossip. And if corporate culture emphasizes accountability, there is a chance that problems will be escalated to those empowered to resolve them, rather than becoming grist for the gossip mill.

– Kip Caffey, Cary Street Partners

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