I have talked about confidentiality a lot recently. It is very crucial. Unfortunately, I just broke confidentiality with one of my clients. It was totally an accident. It is the only time I have done this in more than 20 years of helping people get jobs as a recruiter, resume writer, and coach.
Sometimes people use their work mail the first time they contact me. I always tell them we need to use their personal email.
But this is what happened.
- John, a prospective client, was in a very toxic work environment and really had to get out of there.
- He scheduled a call in my calendar through his work email to inquire about some coaching. I told him we needed to use his personal email.
- John had a heart attack between the time he scheduled and our appointment. That’s scary and very serious. He is on medical leave, probably for three months.
- I sent back a written suggested coaching plan. It included the comment that one of the first ways I could be of assistance was to help him get out of the situation that more clearly than ever was actually toxic.
BUT I USED HIS WORK EMAIL BY MISTAKE WHEN I SENT THE COACHING PLAN. I then found out that his messages were being forwarded to three people at the company when he was on medical leave. OMG! That could put my client’s job at risk. Yikes! It also had the potential to put my own business at risk if he had actually been fired.
It was definitely a difficult situation, but he has since then engaged me in both writing and coaching.
What did I do wrong?
I should have made sure that his work email was not in my Outlook address book. Simple!
Lesson learned, but it was an extremely stressful situation over a completely honest mistake.
- What should you do? REVIEW YOUR ENTIRE OUTLOOK (or whatever you use) ADDRESS BOOK. DELETE ANY EMAIL THAT SHOULD NOT BE THERE.
If you are in a toxic work situation, schedule a free consultation. We can put together some strategies on what to do. You can schedule a call with me; there is no charge for a consultation.