SECRETS: 3 Axioms for Managing Confidential Information

During my Sunday morning message last week called SECRETS, I used a couple of minutes in the message to talk about handling confidential information on the job.  Some secrets are good to keep! Here are three axioms for managing those kinds of nuggets of confidentiality: 
  1. The more negative the information, the more likely it is to be repeated.  This is particularly important for managers or bosses to remember. When you're bringing a negative review or making negative comments about anything or anyone, remember that the more negative your comments, the more likely they are to broad casted by those who are under you organizationally.    
  2. Anything written online, whether in email or in social media should be seen by the sender and receiver as public information.  Even though I feel like I came to recognize this long ago, it seems there are plenty of people who seem to undergo a boundaries lobotomy whenever they sign on to Facebook.  If you want you want for information to stay in a tightly knit circle, keep it off Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, etc.  It's also good to remember that little we send in email can be considered air-tight.  If you're putting it in email, assume others will read it and that it can be forwarded, regardless of the disclaimers you may put at the bottom.
  3. What the boss or the owner says is almost always eventually repeated and so keeping your boss’ confidence is one of the clearest paths to earning his or her respect.  Yeah, so if you're a boss, think through how you communicate what you don't want repeated.  This can also be used to your advantage--sometimes you want things repeated.  If you're an employee or your boss asks you not to repeat certain information, understand that the trust being put on your can lead to more favor and responsibility if you can keep the information, no matter how hot or heavy it may seem, to yourself.
Check out the whole message by clicking here!

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