Times may come when revealing damaging secrets about somebody else will be beneficial to both yourself as well as those around you. The ethical dilemmas in revealing secrets – which will serve to damage the reputation or livelihood of another – are yours to manage. If your decision has been made, and if the effects you predict for doing so are worth it, then it is in your best interest to act in the least dangerous way. There are steps you can take to limit the potential damage that you bring upon yourself by acting as a whistle-blower.
Notwithstanding the promises of confidentiality you are provided with, there is inherent danger in divulging the secrets of another for personal gain. There are countless possibilities in how your dissemination of truth can lead to being damaging to you and people close to you. This article will focus on two things to remember when releasing classified information about somebody else.
“Do my listeners find this secret to be important?”
Your immediate audience poses a big risk in the maintenance of your safety and confidentiality while divulging secrets. Having the audience on your side is of utmost importance, and you must be sure that the information you release will be accepted by your listener. To be sure, you should study the history of the ones who are listening for patterns of thoughts similar to the reasons for which you are divulging information.
Whatever the information which you aim to release is, it is best to not be questioned on the validity, importance, and reasoning of your actions. An example of an audience which cares for what you say would be a manager of a company within which there are people committing financial fraud. An exposé of the fraudulent practices will be invited as well as encouraged. Be careful however, as the people who should logically be welcoming to the information you present may secretly be a part of the conspiracy you’re attempting to uncover. Thereby in the previous example, you must be sure that the manger in question is not in on the fraudulent practices being commuted.
The entities who you first share your secrets with have tremendous power over your fate. They will need to be sensitive in how they spread your truth without putting you at risk, and a person who does not agree with your acts can quickly end your efforts prematurely. These people can be lawyers, interviewers, friends, managers, and colleagues. Be sure that that the people who you’re exposing secrets to are fit for the job of handling this truth without putting your safety and confidentiality in jeopardy. Mere doubt from your listener can make them act in unserious ways toward the information that you present, thereby putting you at risk.
“Am I tagging this secret with my opinion?”
If the facts warrant a response, they will receive one. Do not, under any circumstances, tag facts with what your opinion is about those facts. If you do, you will cloud the power the information you present carries. The facts must be crystal clear, and the only way of keeping them so, is to to not dilute them with your opinionated thoughts on the subject at hand. Treat information which you are exposing as being more important than the person who is exposing that information (you). It is in your best interest to release sensitive information with minimal attachment to your name, and the best way of doing so is to avoid any information which is generated by you.
The information you expose should be presented once and stand alone in maintaining the power which it holds. If explanations are needed, keep them factual and to the point. Avoid speaking on grey areas such as potential, meaning, possibilities, reasoning, and excuses.
Your reasons for releasing sensitive information must originate exclusively from providing benefit to the greater whole. Your job is to present the facts as they are, and how they affect the victims at play. Any personal opinions you attach will be comprehended as points to further your own agenda. Keep your agenda hidden if it must exist, without giving any clues to the possibility that exposing the secrets in question can benefit you in any form.