There are always some people who enjoy keeping the grapevine active. Here is how to deal with them.
We are all aware of the famous Indian sage, Narada Muni, whose narration is available in the Ramayana, Mahabharata and the Puranas as well. Narada is known for his excellent communication skills and seen as a messenger—he carried news, stories and wisdom from one place to another. He could be called the “true journalist” who performs his task with utmost perfection and devotion.
Narada is known for his wisdom and astuteness, and also as a mischievous person (in some stories). A sage dressed in orange, and carrying the musical instrument, called veena, his chanting of “Narayana Narayana”, glorifying Vishnu through his devotional songs in Swargaloka, proves his commitment and gratitude towards his master, Lord Vishnu.
Linking this Vedic character with our corporate world, I realised that every organisation has at least one character, who resembles Narada Muni. This employee will be the one who is updated with what is happening in the company—who leaves, who joins, who has office issues, which boss has problems with his/her subordinates, what is bad in the canteen, what is good in other companies, what are the industry practices, benchmarks and so on. He will surely have an answer to everything.
But, many a times, the information passed around or shared is wrong, which, in turn, creates a negative wave in the company. Employees love to interact with such people to learn of the inside stories of the company. These are the employees who are least interested in work and more inclined to gossip. Sharing of wrong information or news can turn out to be hazardous, especially when rumours reach wider groups of employees and spread like wild fire in the company. It certainly has the power to tarnish the image of the organisation in a jiffy!
You will also find some Narada Munis in the workforce, who follow their managers blindly and always love to sing their praise, irrespective of the nature of their actions! This can have a detrimental effect in the long run, because managers need to have people around them who can offer honest feedback. All praise, at times false, without any constructive feedback, can lead to doom.
How to handle such Narada Munis in your corporate life?
1. Hear, but don’t listen to all the stories: The stories told by such Narada Munis are good to hear, but only to keep yourself entertained. Don’t take them too seriously not believe them blindly. Be cautious, the moment you pick one story and share it with your colleagues, you are also partner to the crime, especially if the story is fake.
2. Counsel and coach: If you find such people in your corporate life and they happen to be your close friends, then it is good to advise them and suggest a change in behaviour. Make them realise that such activities will not be entertained in the long run. Show them the reality!
3. Validate and revalidate: Before believing any story or news coming from such Naradas, it’s always good to get them validated from few sources. All the stories coming from them may not necessarily be wrong, but it is always good to authenticate the data before sharing with anyone else.
4. Stay alert: Always be cautious while sharing anything in front of such Naradas. They are the ones who love to cook up stories, add the extra spice and may be even quote you as the ‘story maker’. So, just pay attention to the words that you utter.
Who are the Narada Munis in your company? Identify them 😉
(The author is HR Manager, Network 18)