Complain to your intern about staff and direct reports
“Good interns and assistants are good listeners, and at times, they may be the only person that makes a boss feel heard,” says Jason Sackett, executive coach, and author of Compassion@Work: Creating Workplaces that Engage the Human Spirit. “This can create the temptation to use them as a sounding board for venting about others in the office, but don’t. They not only can leak sensitive information, potentially leading to conflicts and grievances, but also be put in a terribly uncomfortable position, often causing good employees to leave.”
Anything that you want to be kept in strict confidence, even to your HR department
While you might think you can share anything and everything with the human resources departments, that’s not necessarily true. “HR professionals often have mandates to report or investigate certain information, like sexual harassment and discrimination,” says Sackett. “They simply may not be prohibited from sharing information with the one person you desperately don’t want to know your story—and they may not have the judgment or professionalism to keep it private. If you have any concerns about information being disclosed, consult first with someone who is bound by confidentiality laws, such as a therapist, employee assistance professional, lawyer, or clergy person.
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