Question to Ask the Workplace Doctors about a manager’s lack of maintaining medical information confidential:
I have a problem with my manager who ‘forgets’ about confidential matters such as medical conditions. She discusses private medical matters with me in front of other work colleagues in a small team. We also live in a smaller rural town, so confidentiality is critical to maintain one’s privacy. I have pointedly moved into her office to discuss medical matters, but she still has a habit of talking with me in front of colleagues, at times in front of clients. How can I speak to her about this and what happens if she continues to ignore confidentiality? Thank you
Signed, What’s Private Made Public
Dear What’s Private Made Public:
Quit confiding to her on matters you hold private. If she inquires of you, tell her it’s confidential and that she has demonstrated that she cannot be trusted with confidential matters and walk out of her office. This will give her food for thought. If she objects, then point out to her the many times her lack of discretion has caused harm.
This is kind of like the guy who goes to the doctor complaining that when he does the “cha-cha” it hurts his back. The doctor says, “Then quit doing the cha-cha!”Your concern tells us that you want to right what is wrong and to prevent communication that disrespects others in your workplace. Can you clearly tell this manager what you will and will not talk about in the presence of others? If not, continue to put your faith in communication remembering that silence and/or refusing to listen are effective forms of communication. WEGO is learning respect. The Workplace Doctors
Dan Kearney, Guest Respondent