We have all heard that stories a very powerful. That’s why we use them in job interviews and other professional settings. It’s why they work so well instructing children in the lessons of life.

We forget, however, that stories sometimes carry corrupt messages based upon the interpretation the storyteller. In particular, we forget that, at the office, when someone tells us what happened, there many other sides to the story – – person’s story you this is being told about as well as any observers of the specific incident.

We have an obligation to “look into it” and not rush to judgment. In professional settings, particularly where harassment might be involved, it’s important to involve institutional authority in the inquiry.

Hopefully, you never put into that position. If you are, I hope you never flinch when seeking the truth.

Most incidents never rise to that level. They reflect disagreements about how things should be handled and who is right.

If you are in the management side of the incident, it’s important to investigate before voicing any sort of time that might be used as an agreement with the complainant.

If you are the target of the attack and learn about, understand that those in authority need to hear the other side of the story, too. Otherwise a lingering doubt is left, not just simply with your boss or manager but with those you’ve heard the story without hearing the other side of it.

I know firsthand that no one likes to be placed in this position of being in the middle. Don’t ask your boss or manager to do anything more than to cut the gossip in the bud so that it doesn’t take root, to hear your side of the story and nothing more.

Usually, by the time you take action, the roots already in the ground and strong. It’s why you don’t ask for anything more than to hear your side of it and to ask that the gossip stop.

Stories can be used for good.

Stories can be used to inject poison.


Ⓒ The Big Game Hunter, Inc., Asheville, NC 2019



Jeff Altman, The Big Game Hunter
Jeff Altman, The Big Game Hunter

Jeff Altman, The Big Game Hunter is a career and leadership coach who worked as a recruiter for more than 40 years. He is the host of “No BS Job Search Advice Radio,” the #1 podcast in iTunes for job search with more than 1600 episodes and his newest show, “No BS Coaching Advice” and is a member of The Forbes Coaches Council.

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