Bill Lampton, Ph.D. 678-316-4300
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Bill Lampton

Kill Gossip Before It Kills Your Career

“Did you hear that our department is going to suffer a huge budget cutback?”

“Guess what our beloved boss has decided to do next.”

“Sure seems like Marvin is getting plenty of phone calls that aren’t from his wife.”

Yes, these comments represent one of the most sinister threats to your career. If you choose to participate in listening to and spreading company gossip, you have started a downward spiral. Consider these five reasons gossip threatens your reputation and long-range standing with your corporation.

ONE: Gossip brands you as a negative person.
As the originator or spreader of bad news, you appear toxic. You poison the workplace atmosphere. Eventually, some of your colleagues will drift away from you at mealtime and coffee breaks.

Worse still, your negative outlook will keep you near the bottom of the organizational chart. Why? Companies want leaders who are supportive, cheerful, and looking for the best in others.

TWO: Frequently gossip is not true.
Gossip usually does not equate to “gospel truth.” Gossipers enjoy circulating rumors based on suppositions and suspicion. So when you get involved with what might not be factual, you are supporting dishonest dialogue. That’s disastrous for your image.

THREE: Gossip is not necessarily confidential.
A co-worker tells us, “Now you can be sure this is just between you and me, OK?” No, that is not OK, because the person who is telling you this has probably said the same thing to a half dozen other team members.

Be aware also that when the gossiper talks to someone else, he or she is very likely to quote what you said—despite the promise of confidentiality.

FOUR:  The person who gossips with you will gossip about you
What guarantees that  you are immune from becoming the victim of gossip when you have listened to the office naysayer and shared your comments? Nothing. Once you give that person your ear and your words, you can become the next target.

FIVE: Gossip destroys group morale
And when morale takes a nose dive, the CEO will start asking questions until she identifies the employees who spread rumors, accusations, assumptions, and character assassination. That could lead to a reprimand—or worse, to a dismissal.

There are two simple ways to kill gossip and thereby protect your career.

First, when your workplace caustic critic launches into a barrage of nasty statements about a colleague, simply say: “Please don’t say any more about Jim. He is a team member I respect greatly. He has supported me and cooperated with me ever since the company brought me on board. I choose not to talk about him unless you have something affirmative to share now.”

Second, insist on documentation. “You are saying that Ellen has been involved in illegal handing of our accounts. Before we talk about this any further, I want you to bring me a list of specific transactions and their dates. When you do that, I will consider your evidence carefully.”

Use these two gossip killers, and you will give fresh life to your career.

Advising a Newcomer About Waving

Having lived all but ten years of my adult life in the southeastern part of the United States, I am well aware that this region has some communication customs that are not necessarily recognized in other parts of the nation.

Certainly the language of the South has phrases and idioms that I would have to explain to a newcomer. “Y’all” could mean one or more of you. “Fixin’ to” means we are on the verge of doing something.” “Long tall drink of water” refers to someone whose height exceeds the average quite noticeably.

If a newcomer wanted to know about southern nonverbal communication, I would first explain that almost everybody expects you to wave at them.

“But what if I don’t know them?” you might ask me.

“Doesn’t matter. Whether the person is a close friend, your neighbor down the street, or a total stranger, you wave at them and they will wave back.”

“Yes,” I elaborate, “you need to form the habit of waving at everybody–the guy who delivers your mail, the lady walking her dog, the driver who slows down so you can enter traffic, and the kid riding by on a bike.”

“Well,” the stranger I am coaching asks, “what will they think if I don’t wave?”

“People could draw one of several conclusions. Among them: you are unfriendly, a loner, not feeling well today, or had a bad day at work.”

“Does it matter how I wave? Is there any special method?”

“Nope, just wave. Of course it helps when you smile and make solid eye contact.”

When our conversation ends, the newcomer thanks me for my advice about how to adapt to one of this area’s longstanding nonverbal habits. I knew I had gotten my point across, because as he was walking away he waved at the pizza delivery guy who had just parked in front of my house.

Making of Champions


How many millions of people are talking about the incredibly exciting NCAA championship football game on January 9, with Clemson defeating Alabama with one second to go? Amazing performances by both teams!

The next morning, William Day–a former Ole Miss player–wrote a terrific description of what it takes to reach championship level play. He gave me permission to reprint his thoughts. I invite you to read them now:


Imagine applying the same level of goal-setting, determination, and discipline to your business. As you read biographies of the most successful business leaders, you know they do exactly that. As William Day said, there are no trophies for merely participating.

Remember William Day’s guidelines for becoming a champion. Yes, they work in sports, business-and life!

And yes, you see William Day in action above, tackling a Notre Dame player in a game that became one of Ole Miss’ greatest victories.


Call me today to learn how my communication coaching will help you succeed. Remember, distance from my home office presents no problem. I will coach you by phone, Skype, or Zoom.

Call now: 678-316-4300

Visit my Web site:

To Have Your Best Year, Hire the Right Coach

Want to have the best year you have ever experienced, both in business and your personal life?

Of course you do! Then hire the right coach. In this video, hear my listing of the qualifications the right coach will have.

Note that I have benefited from coaching many times myself, knowing that the right coach would improve my speaking, writing, marketing, video production, golf, and acting.


Call me today to determine whether I am the right coach for you. Remember, distance from my home office presents no problem. I will coach you by phone, Skype, or Zoom.

Call now: 678-316-4300

As an important part of your personal development, learn to control your stage fright, so you can express your good ideas clearly and persuasively. Begin by ordering my new book:

25 Ways to Control Your Stage Fright–and Become a Highly Confident Speaker!

Available in Kindle and paperback on Amazon. Here is the link:

Start Connecting Talented People Through Netweaving

Most of us know about networking, but not all of us know about Netweaving. That’s why I produced this brief video, to explain the power of Netweaving and how to go about it.

Make 2017 your first year of dedicated Netweaving. The results will astonish–and reward–you and your associates.

Because stage fright keeps many professionals from reaching their potential, recently I wrote this book:

“25 Ways to Control Your Stage Fright–and Become a Highly Confident Speaker!”

Available in Kindle and paperback editions. Here’s the Amazon page:

Call me at 678-316-4300, to discuss your communication needs–both corporate and individual–and we will determine how my coaching/consulting will assist you.

Managers–Quit Meeting, Start Eating with Employees

KOLKATA, INDIA - JAN 18, 2016: Visitors of popular Indian Coffee House have lunch on January 18, 2016 in Kolkata India. The India Coffee House chain was started by the Coffee Cess Committee in 1936 in Bombay
If your business has a company cafeteria, my guess is that you have become aware of these mistakes that many managers make:

ONE: Thinking that they can’t get away from meetings for thirty to forty-five minutes, they continue to meet during lunch and have their meal brought into the conference room.

TWO: They walk to the cafeteria and get a to-go sack, bring it back to the conference room, and in this way only lose ten minutes of meeting time.

THREE: Managers show up at the cafeteria, but isolate themselves from everybody else at a table in the corner.

Managers once in awhile sit with an employee, yet only because they have a business item to discuss with that subordinate.

What do these dining habits say about these managers? Inescapably, that they appear aloof, distant, and uninterested in building relationships outside the senior staff circle.

So when a corporation brings me in to assess the company’s communication climate, soon I will bring the discussion around to what the managers do during lunch hour. As you can guess by now, I recommend that they:

–Show up and circulate
–Sit with different people every day
–Avoid talking about business. Chat casually about community activities, sports, families, and other topics not related to work.

Managers who follow these recommendations will create an image of being approachable, personable, and no longer stuffy. Employees will stop referring to them as “The Suits.”

NOTE: Don’t worry, managers, about what you have lost by interrupting your meetings. You have gained much more by your interaction with those who want to know you personally as well as professionally.

Because stage fright keeps many professionals from reaching their potential, recently I wrote this book:

“25 Ways to Control Your Stage Fright–and Become a Highly Confident Speaker!”

Available in Kindle and paperback editions. Here’s the Amazon page:

Discover the Amazing Power of Asking

This video notes that many of us are reluctant to ask for what we want. Then I give three fascinating examples of getting something really desirable–because the people asked.

Note, too, that I advise you on the right way to ask.

Because stage fright keeps many professionals from reaching their potential, recently I wrote this book:

“25 Ways to Control Your Stage Fright–and Become a Highly Confident Speaker!”

Available in Kindle and paperback editions. Here’s the Amazon page:

Very Best Way to Prepare for Your Job Interview

Yes, there are many standard ways to prepare for a job interview, and you have read about many of them.

Yet too few articles, books, and courses talk about the importance of our attitude, which is reflected in our self-talk. In fact, our self-talk plays a significant role in shaping our attitude.

Watch this video, and then implement positive self-talk for your next interview. The results will amaze you!


Call me to discuss what other ways I can help you prepare for your job interview: 678-316-4300

Yes, call TODAY!

What to Say Instead of “No Comment”

Without warning, your company can become the center of local, state, national, and in some rare cases international news. Your corporation’s unwanted time in the spotlight could result from:
–CEO firing or resignation
–burning building
–sexual harassment charges
–huge stock loss
–sale or merger
–customer’s lawsuit
–work site fatality

Frequently these incidents will bring the media to your front door. Even before you can invite newspaper, radio, and TV reporters to a press conference, the “nose-for-news” professionals start bombarding you with questions.

Instantly, you think of similar situations, where you have watched business leaders respond. Quite often, you have heard them answer questions–especially the toughest ones–with “no comment.” So that’s the best way for you to reply. Right?

Wrong, totally wrong. Why? Because “no comment” sounds evasive, deceptive, and suspicious. Seems you must be hiding something. Your credibility begins to evaporate.

One of my guest appearances on Business RadioX

So if you get into this public crisis situation, avoid “no comment.” Instead, use this approach:

“I understand that you need the answer to your question now, and I would be glad to give it if I could. However, we are exploring the situation, to gather all the facts and confirm their validity before we make a public statement on this issue. As soon as we have the information you want, we will contact you quickly.

Then there’s one more step to make this comment satisfactory. Do what you promised. Never assume the media reps will forget your pledge. Contact everyone who questioned you, and distribute your documented findings.

As famed broadcaster Paul Harvey might say, that’s “the rest of the story.”

Conclusion: Dodging reporters damages your image. Delaying reporters courteously until you are able to furnish valid facts and explanations not only helps you maintain your reputation, you are likely to elevate your company’s prestige.

New Slant on “Years of Experience”

When I was interviewing for a staff position decades ago, the department head Al walked me around the office, introducing me to my potential colleagues. Because I had done my homework, before I met Jim I knew that Jim had been there a long time. Jim and I chatted for two or three minutes.

When Al and I walked into the next room, I commented: “I noticed that Jim has twenty years of experience here.”

Al’s answer jarred me:

“No, he has one year of experience, and he has repeated that twenty times.”

That frank analysis gave me a new slant on how we should define years of experience. Ordinarily the term refers to calendar years. Ever since that incident, I evaluate years of experience in regard to learning, progress, continuing education, professional development, acquired skills, degrees and credentials earned, and magnified usefulness to the organization.

Applying that to my career, in 1997 I left the management arena to become an entrepreneur. I learned some basic new skills that first year. I chuckle now when I remember a friend telling me in a phone conversation how to cut and paste portions of a document, despite my saying “too complicated, not sure I can get this.” Then there was another patient colleague who guided me through how to change a document’s font to color instead of black and white. Also, I have fond memories of the tech consultant who taught me how to put down my #2 pencil and operate the computer keyboard. Those were my first grade level starting points.

But what if I had stopped then, almost twenty years ago? Had I stagnated in my advancement, I would not be able to:

–produce my own videos
–video record interviews with experts
–make changes on my Web site without having to hire a professional
–maintain two blogs
–post regularly on the major social media platforms
–publish an e-book
–distribute an online newsletter

Every day, I realize I am creating a new “year of experience.” I have so much more to learn, and I’ll find the best mentors and coaches to explain and demonstrate what they have mastered. That approach will cost me time and money, yes–yet the hours and dollars invested will equip me to serve my clients with an elevated level of competence.

Now I encourage you to answer the key question–candidly and privately–for yourself: “How many years of experience have I had?”