It's been said that loose lips sink ships. The same could be said for chatty bosses. Even if you used to be the life of the office party, once you're the boss, it's time to use some discretion before you start sharing your every thought. Here are the top 10 secrets every boss should keep.
How much money you have
Employees already think most bosses are pompous jerks. No need to throw fuel on the fire by yammering on about your new car or whining about your agonizing kitchen addition. Instead, try to avoid talking about your personal expenses altogether. No one needs to know that you're rolling in dough.
How broke you are
Maybe you're barely scraping by. Keep it to yourself. No matter how little you're making right now, your employees still want to feel like the company is doing well. No need to take the wind out of their sails by telling them the truth. Besides, even if you are broke, they'll still probably think you're doing better than them. That's just what it means to be the boss.
That juicy bit of gossip you just heard
Water cooler gossip between co-workers is one thing, but the boss needs to rise above it. No matter how you really feel about your employees – or even your peers – don't share it with your employees. It's tacky and, ultimately, makes you look bad.
How great your sex life is
Gay, straight, married or single; do not, under any circumstances, tell your employees about your intimate life. Nothing will undermine your authority faster than sharing the details of your hot date. No matter how certain you are that you are just like the rest of your staff, you are not. Do not reveal any details about your most personal of personal relationships.
What keeps you up at night
There's a reason you make the big bucks. You are the one who is paid to worry about the big picture. Don't burden your employees with worries that are rightfully yours. Keep your concerns on a need-to-know basis and, even then, only share what's definite, not all the bad things that might happen.
How great your old company was
Sure, your old company was great. But, don't forget, you left for a reason. No one at your new company wants to hear about how much fun your former co-workers were or how great the company softball team was. It's kind of like dating. Everyone knows you had a relationship before, but that doesn't mean they want to hear about it.
Which department's getting the axe
As the boss, you get the news – good and bad -- before everyone else. Don't play favorites with your employees by leaking company information to a select few. Make sure information is disseminated consistently and professionally.
Who's really calling the shots
Even if you are taking orders from above, no one respects bosses who shirk their responsibilities. Rather than blame every unsavory order on "management," make it your job to help your employees try to see the other side of the coin. It may not always work, but at least you'll look like you're taking your job seriously.
What you really think about…
Whether it's politics, religion or current events, once you're the boss, you can't afford to alienate your staff (or your customers) by wearing your convictions on your sleeve. If you want to get into it with the rest of the team, stick to talking sports and movies.
What other employees make
Even if you're friendly with some of your staff, it's essential that you don't spill the beans on who's making what. Salaries are often decided based on a number of complicated factors, but your employees probably won't take that into consideration when they hear that their colleague makes more than they do. Save yourself the headache and just keep mum on the numbers.
Jeanette Mulvey is the managing editor of BusinessNewsDaily. She has written about small business for more than 20 years and formerly owned her own e-commerce business. Her column, Mind Your Business, appears on Mondays only on BusinessNewsDaily. You can follow her on Twitter at @jeanettebnd or contact her via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.