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Badmouth colleagues at your own peril

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in Leaders & Managers,Leadership Skills

Q: A top executive here told me, “Don’t trust Jim. Everyone knows he’s a liar.” Jim is one of our senior executives. I would never trust Jim; I figured that out years ago! I’m more concerned that the executive felt a need to badmouth Jim, his peer. Am I wrong to think less of the guy who said this?

A: I will say that virtually all the CEOs I’ve met in my life are incredibly diplomatic. They avoid saying negative things behind others’ backs. They’re hesitant to express harsh judgments about people, preferring to see the good in them until evidence proves otherwise. And they rarely hop on the bandwagon when those around them start criticizing a colleague. CEOs become CEOs because they know when to keep quiet. They want friends, not enemies, so they don’t engage in name-calling or backstabbing.

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