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Rumors Assertiveness Expectations

I have been with this company for three years, and there are sleazy rumors concerning one of the top leaders. I have no first-hand experience regarding the content, but it comes as no surprise to me. None of us have any respect for this individual, but the owners of the company give him their full support. I was just given an assignment that will put me in more regular contact with him, and I'm wondering if I should try to get out of it.

If you simply try to get out of an assignment, management may assume that you should simply get out. In a word, it is not a great idea to base work decisions on rumors. At the same time, if you have credible co-workers who have had specific problems with this particular leader, it is impossible for you to totally ignore their comments.

In approaching this new assignment, you should try to keep your mind open, but keep your eyes open too. In the event that you encounter any of the so-called sleazy antics that may have given birth to the rumors in the first place, you should be ready to take assertive action. This means directly advising this individual that his behaviors are not acceptable and must stop. And, if he persists, you should go to the owners and provide them with the facts.

If you enter this assignment expecting to find problems, your behaviors may actually help bring them out. You should approach the work with the expectation that it will be challenging, growth-oriented, and fulfilling. But, if your manager flips into a sleaze mode, you should flip into your assertive mode.

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