Spreading True Rumors

"Spreading true rumors" is a phrase I picked up when reading Patrick Lencioni’s book, The Advantage – Why Organizational Health Trumps Everything Else in Business. Lencioni says that the rumor mill is the most pervasive means of communication in most companies – spreading misinformation and causing confusion in the company.

Instead of trying to stop the spread of information by word of mouth, Lencioni suggests that leaders should take advantage of this medium and spread true rumors.

Cascading messages

Cascading Messages

Cascading messages is the behavior we teach to leadership teams running on EOS®, and Lencioni uses the same term. Think of a cascading waterfall  communication flows from the executive leadership team to the next level of management and so on until it reaches all appropriate parties. At the end of every leadership team meeting the leaders review the decisions they have reached, decide the answers to the following questions, and then act accordingly:

  1. Who is affected by this decision?
  2. What is the agreed upon content we will all share about this decision?  A single message from all of us.
  3. Who will communicate it? – All of us.
  4. How will we communicate it? – In person.
  5. When will we communicate it? – As soon as possible.

Communicating verbally and in person to your team after your leadership team meetings has the advantage of all people hearing the same message at the same time. They all get to read your body language. They all get to ask questions and learn from those questions and answers. Further, you get the true rumor out before others start spreading actual rumors about what the bosses all were talking about in the meeting.

Many teams rush through or skip this step of their Level 10 Meeting™ in their hurry to rate the meeting and get to their next commitment. In your next meeting, I'd urge you to slow down and truly consider whether something decided or discussed in the meeting deserves to be cascaded to your team. Remember  if you don’t do it, the rumor mill will.

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