Tutorial for “Respond to Rumors”

Tips

A carefully written memo in response to a rumor quiets further speculation and builds trust, but be careful not to alienate subordinates by using an accusatory, watchdog tone.

Steps

1. Acknowledge the rumor.

Sentences

  • The rumor mill has been at it again.
  • So many rumors are flying about that we are releasing the details of our new scheduling policy a little earlier than we had planned.
  • I am writing this memo to present you with the truth about the company's rumored move to Springfield.
  • At the meeting last week several of you expressed concern over the marketability of our new line of children's clothing.
  • Just to set the record straight, there is no truth to the rumor that the impending merger will lead to the closing of the Springfield plant.
  • Rumor has it that we will slash employee health benefits in conjunction with the merger.

Phrases

  • all the information we have
  • are releasing the details
  • causing some distress
  • changes are always difficult
  • clear up some misunderstandings
  • factual information regarding
  • have expressed concerns about
  • is very unsettling
  • memo contains the
  • must understand that
  • no truth to the rumor that
  • outline the details
  • present you with
  • rumor has it that
  • rumors are flying about
  • the truth about
  • the rumor mill
  • to set the record straight
  • to dispel the rumors
  • understand your concerns about

2. Dispel the inaccurate information and present the facts.

Sentences

  • We understand your concerns about the impending changes, and I have asked all department managers to schedule meetings with their groups to discuss how the restructuring will affect each of you.
  • Due to the increase in the number of full-time faculty members, we have fewer classes available to part-time instructors. While we value each of you and your contributions to the university, we will be able to retain only those part-time instructors who have taught in our department five years or more.
  • With the explosive growth our firm has experienced this past year, we feel it is necessary to relocate to a larger facility. It is true that we are considering such a facility in Springfield, but we are considering other areas as well. We do not anticipate making a decision before June.
  • Let me assure you that we have conducted numerous experiments to test the durability and resilience of these new fibers, with excellent results every time. Although it is true that the industry is moving toward natural fibers, these are very expensive. The new synthetic material is comfortable to wear and very durable, at a very affordable price. Our research indicates that it should become a top seller.
  • I believe that I would be among the first to know if the company had plans to take such a step, and I assure you that I have no such knowledge.
  • It is true that the pending merger will make it necessary to reevaluate all employee benefits, but there is no reason to believe that management will eliminate or even diminish health benefits.

Phrases

  • all we know is
  • although there may be some difficulty with
  • any announcement would be premature
  • can assure you that
  • can give you no information concerning
  • due to the changes in
  • have not yet decided
  • have not made a decision
  • if the company had plans to
  • is not true that
  • is true that
  • is most unlikely that
  • it is necessary to
  • may become necessary to
  • outline the details of
  • the impending changes
  • understand your concerns about
  • will schedule meetings
  • will let you know
  • will keep you informed

3. Close with a positive, business-as-usual remark.

Sentences

  • Come to your meetings prepared with questions, and we will supply the answers.
  • If you have any questions, I will be happy to discuss this new policy with you.
  • We will keep you apprised of any new developments.
  • I hope this will clear up your concerns about our product.
  • You are welcome to discuss the matter with Mr. Doe when he returns.
  • We will inform you of any changes as they occur.

Phrases

  • a highly valued work-force
  • am confident that you
  • appreciate all you do
  • are looking forward to
  • are welcome to
  • as soon as we know
  • ask you to rally 'round
  • changes for the better
  • clear up your concerns about
  • come prepared with
  • hope that this will
  • if you have any questions
  • trust that this will answer
  • uncertainty is difficult
  • will be happy to
  • will keep you apprised of
  • will not leave you in the dark
  • will keep you abreast of
  • will keep you informed
  • will release further information

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