Of Interest to Private Service Professionals

Discretion in Private Service

(this article was posted in the Summer 2009 Newsletter of the International Association of Private Service Professionals http://www.iapsp.net)

dis⋅cre⋅tion [di-skresh-uhn]:
the quality of being discreet; of prudence or decorum
By Werner Leutert, Home Staffing Network

Privacy and confidentiality are very strong concerns for most employers in private service. Employers who have the need and are able to employ private service professionals are generally of great interest to the general public because of their wealth, their fame and often because little is known about them. It is our role in Private Service to protect our boss’s privacy.

“Friendly, but not familiar” is a common explanation of how the relationship between employer and employee should work. This same concept can apply to how we communicate to others in the community about our jobs. We should always be on guard about revealing any information to others while acknowledging that we have a great job supporting our Principals, period.

Curiosity is a common human trait and in Private Service we will get questions about our employers and our jobs when we are dealing with others in the community. Some Service Professionals are overly excited by thoughts of working for someone rich and/or famous. This type seemingly uses position to enhance their own self esteem by having the “inside scoop.” These persons may struggle constantly with discretion and supervisors should take extra measures to consistently teach the boundaries of their employers confidentiality expectations and help employees to acquire a variety of avoidance techniques.

The best professionals in Private Service have low curiosity levels about their employers. These persons have the service mindset that brings them pleasure in service to others while having confidence that they are appreciated through performing these needed services. These are the true professionals.

When asked a probing question about your employer, respond with a smile and consider one of these responses:

    • “Why are you asking?”
    • “You know how it is in these kinds of jobs, our Employers really enjoy their privacy.”
    • “The Smiths are great people to work for, and I am obligated to help them maintain their privacy.”
    • “I’m not at liberty to discuss those details with you. I’d rather discuss _____ instead.”
    • “I will let them know of your interest, and they can advise me of the proper response to your question.”
    • “Actually, I am off duty now, so I’d rather not talk about my job or the Family I work for.”

Try to redirect the conversation immediately following these answers and always be supportive of your Employers by having a positive and confidential attitude!

About the author:

Werner Leutert is a Private Service Staffing Consultant for Home Staffing Network based in Naples, FL. Home Staffing Network is an umbrella website for professionals who represent various specialties and services of interest to private individuals and families.

Prior to developing HSN, Werner spent 20-plus years as part of a Couple Team, as an Estate Manager, and a formal Butler in the Eastern and Sourthern USA. https://www.homestaffingnetwork.com