TRIPLE III TIME: GRAPEVINE VS. MAINLINE!
In my April 2019 Inspiring Innovations LEARNING MOMENTS podcast, I included a segment entitled “If I ever get the chance…I will communicate better because EVERYBODY matters.” I specifically stressed that you must never let the “GRAPEVINE” in your organization be wiser than your leader communication “MAINLINE”.
This simple phrase wonderfully sparked a number of positive responses…and even better requests for more discussion on this GRAPEVINE VS MAINLINE topic. So, let me explain some of the considerations that follow this combination leadership and communication improvement area.
First good verbal and written communication minimize the use and value of the GRAPEVINE. By utilizing a quality, consistent communication system within your organization…you will naturally draw everyone to the MAINLINE for accurate messages.
Second, it is important to realize that an organizations “secrets” are only secrets to those who believe there is a secret. What am I trying to say? My point is that if a communication void occurs, the GRAPEVINE most often will fill in the secret blanks with misinformation and inaccurate assumptions about what the issue is or might be! So, work hard to be proactive in your communication of new organizational actions/changes. Eliminate the opportunity for the GRAPEVINE to take “center-stage”.
Third, maintaining a system of timely messaging is another GRAPEVINE VS MAINLINE challenge. Waiting for the “perfect” time to communicate on an issue of organizational concern…only allows the GRAPEVINE to step-in and contribute to the frontline discussion. Interestingly the GRAPEVINE may offer both good and bad information…but the problem is that the message does NOT come from the leader MAINLINE…which is the most important source!
Finally minimizing distribution of your MAINLINE message and only offering it to the “higher-ups” and not including the “ones-who-do-all-the-work” also enables the GRAPEVINE to negatively impact your communication goal. Most often you get one first chance to get the word out…don’t short-change your MAINLINE opportunities.
BOTTOMLINE: As I stated during my April 2019 podcast and repeated in the opening paragraph of this blog…NEVER let the GRAPEVINE in your organization be wiser than your leader communication MAINLINE!