Tuesday, August 24, 2004

confidence

I forgot the author I got this from (anyone know the name?), but its astounding in its simplicity and resonance:

"At a recent luncheon with friends, the topic surfaced about someone who quit his job on short notice. The fellow who knew the details was asked, “Well, what did he say was the reason?”

“I’m sorry, but he talked to me in strict confidence,” my friend replied.

The topic quickly changed, but I thought about that meeting later. If I ever needed someone to talk with, where would I turn? I would likely gravitate toward the person who knew how to keep his mouth shut. In fact, my opinion of this gentleman’s character grew immensely when he spoke that one sentence about confidentiality.

Some people think it’s fun to gossip, yet they quickly gain a reputation as someone who can’t be trusted. If you want to raise your status among colleagues, here are four rules to follow.

1. Never betray a confidence.
2. Steer the conversation toward important ideas rather than about people.
3. Ask at least four questions for every answer you give.
4. End every conversation on a note of optimism about the future.

You’ll be surprised at the growing number of people who will request the pleasure of your company."

Posted at 10:59 AM in Philosophy | Permalink

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