You never discuss your personal problems with your employees. Period. Your job is to lead them, not to make them listen to your fears and complaints. Regardless of how bad you feel, you never, ever share those feelings with your employees. Talk to your peers about them, or your spouse, or even your minister, but never to your employees
Here are some other things you never discuss with your employees:
- Anything told to you in confidence.
It doesn't matter whether you were told the confidence by a superior, a peer, or a subordinate. It is up to you to set the ethical tone. If it was told to you in confidence you do not share it with others.
- Information they won't understand.
If you have to explain something so your team will understand it, but you can't reveal the explanation for some reason, don't even bring up the subject. Wait until you are in a position to answer their questions before you say anything.
- Anything you don't have time to explain.
Just like above, if you don't have the time to explain, don't bring it up. Wait until you do have time to explain before you say anything.
- Rumor, gossip, or the like.
Stick to the facts. It's not your job to spread rumors and it often makes your job more difficult if someone else is spreading them. You don't want rumors spreading so be sure you aren't the one who starts them.
- Your fears. Your job is to buffer your team from the fear, uncertainty, and doubt (FUD) that is running rampant in the office, not dump your problems on your team. Sure, you can share with them your legitimate concerns about the company and ts operations. Just keep your fears to yourself.
- Anything bad about anyone else.
Your mother always told you that if you can't say anything good about someone, don't say anything. That's especially true in a workplace. If you bad-mouth others, the people who hear you will start to wonder what you say about them when they are not in the room. If you have to criticize , criticize the action, not the person doing it. Never criticize your boss in front of your team and never criticize a member of your team in front of anyone else on the team.
- Personal or personnel information about others.
Never discuss anyone's personal information, their salary, their family situation, their concerns, their short-comings with others. Your ability to succeed as a manager depends on your ability to keep confidential matters confidential.
- Medical information on others.
Similar to the personnel information above, you never discuss anyone's medical information with anyone else. For example, don't say "He's at the doctors having a growth removed." just say, "He had an appointment." Sure, if an employee is going to be out for several weeks for surgery and recovery, and he asks you to explain to the rest of the team why he's out you can say something. Just provide the minimum amount of personal information,consistent with the individual's wishes. Respect their privacy.
You want your team to know that you will always tell them as much as you can. Just make sure they understand that there are things you just don't share. They will understand. And they will appreciate you for it.