Secrets may not come out tomorrow, next week, or next month, but years from now the word may get out what you really thought of a boss or co-worker long after you left the company. The chances that you will have an open door back into the establishment after a negative statement has been said is not very good. There are ways to determine whether someone might value what you say and keep it under his or her hat, at least for a time. Depending on who you talk to and how you say what you know will keep things hush, hush hopefully until you have no need of that income source.
1. Notice how the leader or worker interacts with others. Does this person appear to be all-too-anxious to hear others' news and react to it? If so, you don't need to share any confidential information with this person unless you are ready to do something about what you know.
2. Does he or she frequently tell you and other workers everything that is going on in the office without ever giving any personal details or thoughts? Chances are this person is guarded with his or her information, because they want to receive information from you to take back to someone else.
3. Are you typically nervous when this person comes around or worry about what he or she might tell others about you? If so, your gut feeling is giving you a clear indication to watch your mouth.
4. Do you feel disappointed when little things you say to someone turn into bigger things when the story comes back to you? If this has happened in the past, it will happen again, so don't share any secrets with a known exaggerator and/or liar.
5. Do you find yourself worried that you might be the next person on the front page news, because of an office gossip? If this is a concern of yours, do damage control. Begin to speak positively about everyone. Do nice things for leadership and staff. Offer to help with tasks without someone asking you for your assistance. Build up your reputation and give no one any excuse to say terrible things about you.
If an individual causes you unnecessary stress over what he or she might say, or you find yourself worrying about the individual after you have spoken to him or her about an issue, it is safe to say that you must be careful talking to this person. He or she might be in contact with you hopefully to obtain information from you, use you for his or her personal projects, or for some other reason.
When speaking to leadership and staff about confidential information, be sure you are not giving any details away that could potentially put your job at risk. Be vague, but clear. Watch your facial expressions and mannerisms when speaking. Avoid joking, smiling, and laughing about serious matters. Keep personal opinion or assumption out of conversation when there are no facts to back up what you are saying. Don't divulge information to those who leadership and workers have complained about in the past. Keep in mind trouble-makers look to find any details to use against those who have reported them. Lazy or tardy types will not hesitate to find fault with those who do well at work. Jealous or mentally disturbed workers don't think twice about blurting out sensitive information. Those who feel threatened by good leaders and workers will find ways to use what they know to get others laid off or terminated.
Consider whether what you are pondering about sharing with others is really worth mentioning and think about what might happen as a result of what you tell your employer or employees in the future. Take some time to write down your thoughts and read them back, then destroy your notes if you have reached the conclusion you don't want to say anything to anyone about what you know or think you might know.