Gossip, or How to Ruin a Business
Leaders beware. Nothing can claim more tainted professional reputations, destroyed friendships, and polluted corporate cultures than gossip, says business consultant Mike Myatt.
What's the Latest Development?
Gossip is one of the most divisive undercurrents pervading business today, says consultant Mike Myatt. Throughout his long career in the business world, he has seen nothing more poisonous than what he describes as 'talking about a situation with somebody who is neither a part of the solution or a part of the problem.' The presence of gossip in the workplace is essentially a question of leadership, he says. As a leader, what kind of corporate culture do you want to create? One based on leadership or one based on doubt?
What's the Big Idea?
How can leaders eradicate gossip from the workplace? First and foremost, refuse to participate. Thought it might be tempting to get what appears to be the inside scoop, remember that if someone is gossiping to you, they are probably willing to gossip about you. Should someone come to you with a concern about a third party, suggest that person speak directly to whoever the problem concerns. If that is not satisfactory, "offer to accompany the person with the problem in addressing the individual they have an issue with."
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Research by neuroscientists at MIT's Picower Institute for Learning and Memory helps explain how the brain regulates arousal.
The big day has come: You are taking your road test to get your driver's license. As you start your mom's car with a stern-faced evaluator in the passenger seat, you know you'll need to be alert but not so excited that you make mistakes. Even if you are simultaneously sleep-deprived and full of nervous energy, you need your brain to moderate your level of arousal so that you do your best.
A disturbing interview given by a KGB defector in 1984 describes America of today and outlines four stages of mass brainwashing used by the KGB.
- Bezmenov described this process as "a great brainwashing" which has four basic stages.
- The first stage is called "demoralization" which takes from 15 to 20 years to achieve.
- According to the former KGB agent, that is the minimum number of years it takes to re-educate one generation of students that is normally exposed to the ideology of its country.
When these companies compete, in the current system, the people lose.
- When a company reaches the top of the ladder, they typically kick it away so that others cannot climb up on it. The aim? So that another company can't compete.
- When this happens in the pharmaceutical world, certain companies stay at the top of the ladder, through broadly-protected patents, at the cost of everyday people benefitting from increased competition.
- Since companies have worked out how to legally game the system, Amin argues we need to get rid of this "one size fits all" system, which treats product innovation — "tweaks" — the same as product invention.
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