It's easy for rumors to start, rumors that have no truth to them.
Rumors can be very dangerous for individuals and organizations.
It's important to listen for the truth in rumors rather than the exaggeration, hearsay, and untruths.
Recently I was part of a discussion that unraveled a number of rumors to find the truth.
It was a good meeting, and lots of truth was revealed--the truth led to discussions about new responses and potentially new teaching and protocols.
Rumors generally arise when transparency and communication are hindered or obstructed in some ways.
Broken communication is not always deliberate, but often the result of systems that have not been reviewed and revised to match the times or needs of an organization.
So as I think about my work both professional and personally, I'm thinking about rumors and how to respond to those rumors.
First, it's important to investigate by asking for the data with simple questions such as can I see that report, would you be willing to share the numbers, or how exactly did that happen?
Next, it's important to look at alarming information as an opportunity to make positive change--if the information shared is alarming, it may be worth looking for the truth in the matter, and then using that truth to improve the situation.
The worst we can do is to simply repeat and strengthen alarming rumors rather than analyzing, finding the truth in the matter, and responding with good action and change.