Implied Confidentiality

November 17th, 2013 @   -  One Comment

When it comes to confidentiality and keeping secrets, do you keep the information to yourself or spill the beans at the first opportunity? To gauge yourself in this area, ask yourself, how likely am I to share any of the following?

  1. A business partner decides to go his own way and leaves you in a critical situation. You have plenty of information that could impact his business and personal life negatively. Do you leak this information?
  2. During a trip, you witnessed someone you know doing something wrong. Do you share what you saw with others?
  3. You and your spouse have some private sensitive issues at home. Do you vent to your friends or colleagues at work?
  4. You lost your job due to downsizing. You know plenty of confidential information about your previous employer that is useful to the competition. Sharing this information with the competition might jeopardize the business of your previous employer. Would you share that information?
  5. You visit a relative or friend’s house. The food served is not up to your expectations, the house is untidy or you overheard a family argument in the house.  Would you share with others what you saw or heard?

These are examples of implied confidentiality. In these situations, no one asked you not to say anything. So what is the right thing to do in such situations?

If someone shares with you other people’s secrets or leaks sensitive information about their organization, they will very likely reveal your secrets to others. Would you trust them? Would you share with them confidential information? Of course not!

When we are unable to keep secrets and when we leak or share sensitive information, our credibility and trustworthiness will lessen considerably. Whereas, keeping secrets and guarding confidentiality strengthens relationships and builds trust.

When it comes to guarding confidentiality, here are a few suggestions:

  • Conceal people’s mistakes.
  • Do not share your private marital issues with outsiders.
  • Protect the rights of the gatherings you attend. Confidential talks in meetings should be guarded.
  • Keep things confidential that were intended to be confidential even if the relationship breaks down.

“If a man tells you something then looks around, it is a trust” (Al-Tirmidhi)

“The mind of a wise man is the safest custody of secrets.” Ali (RA)

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One Comment → “Implied Confidentiality”

  1. Asoka

    4 years ago

    I regularly read your emails and I find them very inspirational. I always learn something and try to practice it, Insha Allah.


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