Politifact, the fact-checking web site of the St. Petersburg Times, announced the biggest lie of 2010. But it doesnâ€™t stop there, the NYTimes, FactCheck.org and a number of other experts agree with Politifactâ€™s analysis.
The lie? That the government will be taking over health care.
Iâ€™ll leave it to Politifact to debate the â€śwhy.â€ť Iâ€™m more interested in the â€śhowâ€ť and what we can learn from this that will help us to survive todayâ€™s challenging workplace.
Repetition was probably the one factor that pushed this phrase to the top of the list. In 2010 alone, “government takeoverâ€ť was mentioned 28 times in the Washington Post, 77 times in Politico and 79 times on CNN. Add to this countless times on a variety of congressional and activist web sites.
Beyond your beliefs about health care, and the politics surrounding, is one simple fact, views can be shaped by a message being said over, and over, and over again.
Which reminds me of a previous blog that I wrote about Google. Remember, Google is not an arbiter of whatâ€™s true or not true, itâ€™s fancy algorithms only can tell you whatâ€™s popular.
If youâ€™ve ever locked horns with a nemesis at work, youâ€™ll learn this lesson painfully. When someone has a lot of anger and time, they can do a huge amount of mischief at work by simply repeating something over and over again.
Which is why when someone starts spreading a mistruth about you at work, you need to respond to it. Because what could seem outrageous to everyone today, can become a â€śhealth care takeoverâ€ť juggernaut in just a matter of days.
Listen to the grapevine. And take out your pencil to try to erase the parts that arenâ€™t true, while you still can.
Iâ€™d hope that most of you donâ€™t take this as a strategy to get ahead, but rather as insight about the dynamics of how negative messages can resonate. And more importantly, how their damage can be limited.
About The Author: Bob Rosner is a best-selling author and award-winning journalist. For free job and work advice, check out the award-winning workplace911.com. Check the revised edition of his Wall Street Journal best seller, â€śThe Bossâ€™s Survival Guide.â€ť If you have a question for Bob, contact him via firstname.lastname@example.org.