Situation 20: CONFIDENTIAL INFORMATION

Femsy gets into trust issues because of sharing information, which was supposed to be kept confidential.

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A great leader: 

  • Is credible and trusted by bosses, peers and subordinates;
  • Encourages observance of values, behavioural standards and regulations in the company;
  • Has high integrity and is open and honest in dealings with others;
  • Acts as a role model.

How to best handle the situation:

Confidential information is exactly what it is: confidential!

As a leader you can only set boundaries on acceptable/non acceptable behaviour by role-modeling the behaviour yourself. If you whisper secrets to peers and/or team members, others will act the same way. Be aware that it does not take many slip-ups in an organization before people will say you cannot be trusted with confidential information.

Share company information in a concise and informative manner only with those people who need to be informed because they have to work with the information or need it for decision making purpose.

Learning suggestions:

  • Treat all confidential company information on a “need to know” basis. Only disclose or discuss the information to/with individuals who are authorized to view or access that data;
  • If you are not sure whether company information is to be kept confidential, ask upfront;
  • Don’t agree too quickly to keep performance/ethical/legal matters confidential. Warn others upfront: “before you tell me more, I cannot promise confidentiality on matters that affect unit performance ethics or legal matters”;
  • If someone is complaining about co-workers ethics, tell him/her that you cannot do anything since you don’t know anything directly. Have him/her confront the person or produce evidence before continuing the discussion;

Femchallenge:

How comfortable are you with confronting a team member who is disclosing confidential information?

Femcommunity tips:

We welcome your thoughts, experiences and comments on how you would deal with such a situation.

 

Read more about Co-Colours and Co-Colours Team.

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