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Use this secret to tap the grapevine

by on
in Firing,Human Resources

A junior staffer or administrative assistant can give you priceless information about what people are really thinking … if you know how to ask.

Least effective:
  • Firing a series of direct questions, such as, “Are people scared?” and “Are people looking for jobs?” This “inquisitor” approach will only raise your source’s defenses and prompt self-censorship.
  • “Fishing” with fuzzy questions such as “So, what’s on people’s minds these days?” Vague questions invite evasion, and you’ll have to start asking all over again.
Most effective:
  • Making an objective statement and letting your source comment on it. Example: “I get the sense that people are worried about what’s going on here behind closed doors.” Since you’ve taken the lead, your source will be inclined to correct your statement or provide more information

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