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Romance Rumors Terminations

Somehow a rumor started that I am romantically involved with one of the women who report to me. We all work long hours, and I stayed late with her a few weeks ago when she had a flat tire. However, there was and is nothing going on between us, but the rumors still fly. How do I stop them?

Rumors fly in many organizations, but they run out of gas if there are no incidents to fuel them. If the rumor-mongers are basing their stories on the flat tire incident, people will soon tire of these reruns.

In the meantime, as a manager, you should advise the employees that rumors are destructive, disruptive, and cruel, and those who spread them are engaging in unacceptable behavior. You do not need to dignify the rumor about you by mentioning it. However, if it comes up, you should simply state the truth: you helped an employee, just as you would help any of them.

You do not have to adjust your behavior because there are some employees who are intent on creating and spreading malicious stories. However, if it is possible that you are showing some favoritism toward the one employee in question, the rumor may be a reaction to it. As a result, you may want to take a look at your managerial style when dealing with her, while remembering that employees who are intent on creating rumors will do so regardless of your behavior. So, here's a tidbit just for them: some companies terminate employees for spreading rumors, and that's no rumor.

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