Accusations – in any forum – are always serious.
Whether your in a formal minuted meeting, a public forum, an online discussion or a private conversation; accusations are serious forms of gossip.
Accusations commonly move from talking about events to talking about motives or un-heard conversations. They are claims about what other people said or thought.
They shouldn’t be condoned. Feel free to stop people when they make fleeting accusations and ask them to substantiate them; Who said that? How do you know? Was that their intention? Did they tell you? What did you actually see?
Don’t just let accusations pass by. They damage people and relationships. And by the way… be very wary making them yourself.
It’s impossible to assume nothing.
Either they have done what you’ve asked, or they haven’t
Either they know about the issue already, or they don’t
Either they are lying to you, or someone else is
Either they are planning on coming, or they are planning on skipping it
Either they understand what you’re talking about our they don’t
The fact is, you have to operate with some assumptions when you plan, when you preach, when you talk to people, when you lead a project.
But it matters which assumptions you act on…
You can either think the worst of people. This is called “accusing” them. or you can think the best of them. This is called “trusting” them.
I reckon the best thing to do is tell them you’re trusting them, and ask them if your trust is well placed.