Everyone is listening!

I was on a plane traveling from Philadelphia, PA to Albany, NY for a presentation (45 minute trip).  Prior to taking off, the man behind me was on his cell phone speaking very clearly and loudly.  It seemed to me he was relaying information to a reporter.  Here are the details that came through:

The Department of Energy was not funding two off shore wind energy turbine projects because both were projects of foreign governments.

The Department of Energy was giving his company $800,000 over an extended period of time to analyze the data generated from these projects.  To use their mathematical model.

The amount ($800,000) may not be public data so he would appreciate if the person on the other end of the conversation did not share that information.

Wow, I was floored!  Yet thinking about it, I’ve heard it before.  Someone on their cell phone, conducting business and everyone else can hear the details.  I’ve heard people speak of contracts, mergers, pricing and all sorts of confidential information.

There is one big tip – that you’ve already figured out.  If you don’t want it going public or viral, don’t use public spaces to conduct your business.  

Assume everyone can hear you.  

Assume everyone has access to social media

Assume what you say will be broadcast or blogged about.

Assume whoever hears you is connected in some way to your competition (directly or through a relative or friend).

Assume this will get back to your employer.  

If it’s vital to take the phone call and relay confidential information, consider finding a quiet place and take a later flight.  Otherwise, politely explain to the person on the other end that you are on an airplane and not able to fully discuss the matter.

Has this happened to you?  Any stories you’d like to share?  Share your comments below!

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