What to do when a secret gets out!

Being at the same place every day and working with the same people means there is a chance that, one day, something personal may become public knowledge.

It may leave you feeling uncomfortable, or worse make you think of leaving a job you very much enjoy.

So if you are experiencing this now, or fear this happening in the future, let’s look at how you can take control of the situation.

1. Confront the rumour head on
Most likely you know how and why the secret got out. If you can speak to the person you think is responsible, then you can quickly work out if it was intentional or if there was another motive behind it.

Involving someone else begins the process of addressing the issue as you force them to either confirm or deny their involvement, revealing the truth or making a liar out of them. If they had no part, then they will quite possibly relate to your plight and help you uncover the truth.

Accept the secret is out and that you must move on to the next stage – dealing with it.

2. Work even harder
If you don’t feel comfortable facing the problem head on, then the next most effective approach is to ignore it completely. All office rumours or secrets will eventually become old news, replaced by another rumour or scandal.

Take the time to focus instead on your work, maybe going in earlier so you can think just about your job, rather than what people are saying. Show them you will not be put off by their gossiping.

3. Escalate the issue
This should be your last resort. Once you escalate the issue then you no longer have control over how it is handled. If you believe your boss may have been responsible for the information getting out then you will need some pretty solid proof to take it higher. If you don’t have any proof then you must take it to them first and demand that something be done about it. If they don’t, then you have your reason to take it higher.

Be prepared however, for the issue to become even bigger than it was before, but if you feel strongly enough about it, then you are well within your rights. No one should have to put up with private information being passed on about them.

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