Tag Archives: integrity

How to Deal with Grapevine Rumors

A grapevine always exists in the office, organization, community or anywhere.  Trying to crush it out entirely is both hopeless and counterproductive.  But rumors that threaten job security can destroy an organization if left unchecked. One of the major concerns in dealing with the grapevine is that it is usually impossible to pinpoint the source of rumor.

Grapevine rumors may develop during gatherings.

The following are the strategies that we must utilize to soothe the potential damage of grapevine rumors:

1.  Always be available for frank discussion of employee concerns.  A minor rumor may loom important to employees if it is allowed to worsen, taking a toll on morale and performance.  Make an unfounded rumor the subject of the next employee meeting.

2.  Give your undivided attention to the employee who comes to you with the latest rumor. If it is totally unfounded, tell him so, honestly.   If there’s some truth to the story, but management doesn’t want to address it at this time, simply tell the employee that you’re not at liberty to discuss it.  Then report the conversation to top management right away.  The timetable for announcing the subject of the rumor should be moved up if employees are already aware of it.

3.  Don’t waste a great deal of time trying to trace the source of the rumor – unless an employee is releasing confidential information. Never try to publicly embarrass employees who are responsible for spreading rumors.  You can accomplish the same goal by releasing the facts and having other employees realize how deceptive their information really is.

4.  Devote time at every meeting for employees to ask questions about subjects that may be bothering them.  There is no better way to detect the subject of the latest rumor.

5.  Keep the work environment predictable and give employees as much control over their work as possible. They should have sufficient power and authority to accomplish the jobs they are expected to perform.  Insufficient authority breeds discontent, a major fuel for the rumor factory.

If you have other strategies in your mind or have remarks to this post, I’m inviting you to leave your comments below . I love to hear from you.

Your friend,

Nimia Acebes

The Ability to Persuade

An incident happened at office yesterday.  A manager recommended a reassignment of an employee and his supervisor opposed to the idea.  An argument took place which resulted to bullying by the manager.  The supervisor, in turn, bursted in tears.

Incidents like this really happen in the office, at home or anywhere. How could the leader influence others to do or follow what he wants them to do?

First, the leader must connect with the people he leads.  The leader must love his people.  If he has a stained relationship with the one he leads, influence would be difficult.  If he shows love and care for his people, anything he does or presents would be easily accepted by them.

Second, the leader must not only possess the abilities and skills of a leader but he must also be a H.O.T. one. H.O.T. which means hands-on and transactional is coined from the term used in the book of Bruce Tulgan.  As a hands-on leader, he spends lots of time with employees spelling out expectations and clarifying standards.

Third, the leader is a role model to his people.  He walks the talk.  He has integrity, his words and actions match.  He is honest and trustworthy.

Fourth, the leader is a good communicator. He must be able to communicate to his people the reasons and the rationale behind his decisions and requests, presenting the needed data, if possible. In doing this, he must also maintain a genuine respect for others’ ideas and perspectives.  If we show willingness to listen to our people first, it will be easy for us to influence them to agree to our opinions and decisions.

According to Dr. Blaine Lee of the Power Principle, these are the words we say to ourselves to check for persuasion:

Have I told them why?

Do they understand why?

Have I tried to help them understand why?

Would it help if they understood why?

Would I like them to understand why?

The Five Practices of Exemplary Leadership

James M. Kouzes and Barry Z. Posner in their book, The Leadership Challenge, said that when getting extraordinary things done in organization, leaders engage in these Five Practices of Exemplary Leadership:

  • Model the Way  – Titles are granted, but it’s your behavior that wins your respect.  Exemplary leaders know that if they want to gain commitment and achieve the highest standards, they must be models of the behavior they expect of others. Leaders model the way. To model the way, a leader must have integrity, that is, his words and deeds match up.

Modeling the way is about earning the right and the respect to lead through direct involvement and action.

People follow first the person, then the plan.

John Maxwell said that leaders add infinite weight to their words by incarnating the principles they teach.

  • Inspire a Shared Vision – People always have a dream or a vision of an exciting and highly attractive future for their organization. The dream or vision is the force that invents the future.  Leaders inspire a shared vision.

  • Challenge the Process – Leaders face the challenge of changing from the status quo.  All leaders challenge the process.  They search for opportunities to innovate, grow and improve. They know well that innovation and change involve experimenting and taking risks.  Despite the inevitability of mistakes and failures leaders proceed anyway.
  • Enable Others to Act – To turn dream or vision into significant reality, it requires team effort, solid trust and relationship.  It requires deep competence and cool confidence.  It requires group collaboration and individual accountability.  Leaders have to enable others to act.

In today’s virtual organizations, cooperation can’t be restricted to a small group of loyalists; it  must include peers, managers, customers and clients, suppliers, citizens – all those who have a stake in the vision.

  • Encourage the Heart – The climb to the top is arduous and long which make people exhausted, frustrated and disenchanted.  They’re often tempted to give up.  Leaders encourage the heart of their constituents to carry on.  Genuine acts of caring uplift the spirits and draw people forward.

Many of today’s leaders fail to turn their vision into reality because they do not act as role models to their employees.  By not modeling the behavior they expect from their people, leaders could not influence their people to perform what are required from them.

The Basic Ingredients of Leadership

Warren Bennis, in his book “On Becoming a Leader”, listed down the following basic ingredients of leadership:

First is guiding vision. A leader must know where he is going and be able to convince his people to follow him.  According to John Maxwell, “ Time flies, moral soars upward, heroic stories are told, and commitment is the watchword. Why? Because the leader has a vision….  Without it, energy ebbs low, deadlines as missed, personal agendas begin to surface, production falls, and people scatter.”

Second is passion – the underlying passion for the promises of life, combined with a particular passion for a vocation, a profession, and a course of action.  The leader must love what he is doing as this conveys hope and inspiration to his people.

Third is integrity.  Warren Bennis cited three essential parts of integrity:  self-knowledge, candor, and maturity.

Self-knowledge – until the leader knows himself, his strengths and weaknesses, knows what he wants to do and why he wants to do it, he cannot succeed in any but the most superficial sense of the word.  When a leader knows what he consists of and what he wants to make of it, then he can invent himself.

Candor – is the key to self-knowledge.  It is based in honesty of thought and action, a steadfast devotion to principle, and a fundamental soundness and wholeness.

Maturity – is important to a leader because leading is not simply showing the way or issuing orders.  Every leader needs to have experienced and grown through the following – learning to be dedicated, observant, capable of working with and learning from other, never servile, always truthful.

Integrity is the basis of trust, a quality that cannot be acquired, but must be earned.  It is given by co-workers and followers, and without it, the leader can’t function.

According to John Maxwell, “When I have integrity, my words and my deeds match up.  I am who I am, no matter where I am or who I am with.”

Another basic ingredients of leadership are curiosity and daring.  Leaders wonder about everything, want to learn as much as they can, are willing to take risks, experiment, try new things. They do not worry about failure, but embrace errors, knowing they will learn from them.

In actual situation, vision statements are provided most of the time by the top executives.   Due to non-participation during the formulation, there are some followers who fail to embrace or internalize their vision statements.

John Maxwell said: “Sadly, integrity is a vanishing commodity today.”

Some followers do not trust their leaders anymore because words and deeds do not match and some are perceived to be unprofessional and dishonest.

On the other hand, it is also hard for government leaders to be daring because of government restrictions.  Their actions must always be in accordance with existing laws, decrees and orders.  Failure and errors can cause worries  as their detractors may use their deficiencies in filing cases against them in proper courts.