If you text it, email it or speak it, you and you alone released that info and own the inherent risk associated to the information released. If you text or email information that you don’t want out in the public or it could be perceived negatively even if it gets out to your team, board or small community, you probably should not release it.

I also encourage you to be aware of who can over hear you even in what you think are private conversations. You never know who would love to put that information out into the atmosphere for mere entertainment value or even to be malicious (is there a difference in the two?).

Same thing with social media. I run into so many nonprofit leaders that when there is a crisis they start to panic and respond to every comment. You are not obligated to respond.

If you do make this mistake which we all do, own it with humility. Humility goes a long way with people. You will notice people immediately soften when you take this approach authentically.

Something like, “I am so sorry. I shouldn’t have responded like that. It was very insensitive. I wasn’t thinking. I’m new (or stressed or whatever) and have had a very steep learning curve. Although it’s not an excuse for my response, it’s been a challenge and wanted you to know. I hope you consider forgiving me and allowing me to rectify the situation.”

Or if you were gossiping and saying words that are defamatory, take a similar approach.

If you are involved with nefarious activities and communicating over the digits or being recorded unbeknownst to you, you are on your own. Stop.

Sometimes saying nothing or very little is the best bet. Eating crow is much better then the possible fall out and you may even end up making a solid ally by leading with humility. I know this because it’s happened to me.

Remember too- in the age of the cyber world we live in, take extra care who has access to all your electronic devices even your work equipment. Stay vigilant. Stay aware. Stay Sensitive to Others and Stay Empathetic.


  • Jen Paquette

    Executive | Philanthropist | Board Member | Educator | Coach | Business Owner

    The JPaq Group | Founder of Steel Mags | Founder of Girl Grit Inc.

    Jen Paquette currently owns and operates The JPaq Group where she and her business partner, Melissa Pucino, and their small yet very capable team consult for numerous not for profits and small businesses, coach executives and transitioning military service members, & handle back of the house activities reducing expenses for these companies and plan and execute events. She has found a niche by establishing JPG as a boutique shop that focuses on relationships and common values, missions and purposes. This approach creates a force-multiplication effect and long-lasting relationships. She & the team ensure the organizations they work with have a foundation of operation excellence improving quality of life for those JPG serves.  Jen and the team spend a good portion of their time at JPG teaching classes on nonprofits, PR, marketing, supply chain management & change management. Jen is known for her philanthropic efforts and for being a bulldog for those she serves. She founded the Steel Mags Sorority in late 2009 and was part of the founding team that established the Green Beret Foundation More recently she has founded Girl Grit Inc. She has served on numerous boards and currently serves on the board of Dancing Angels Foundation, Military Veterans in Journalism and is a founding board member for the proposed charter school, Prelude Preparatory School in San Antonio, TX.  She serves as an advisor, business consultant and mentor for Special Operations Transition Foundation and MVAT Foundation.  Jen has planned and executed hundreds of events raising millions for charities and has won numerous awards recognizing her patriotism and philanthropic work over the years. She is a member of several clubs: Business Executives for National Security, Junior League of San Antonio, Greater Houston Women’s Chamber of Commerce, San Antonio Rotary, and the San Antonio Chamber of Commerce. Jen has been featured in several publications such as Forbes and San Antonio Magazine. Jen graduated from Arizona State University (fork em'!!) with a BS in Business Administration majoring in Supply Chain Management. She received her Master’s in Public Administration with a concentration in not for profits and public policy from St. Mary’s University in San Antonio, Texas and an Executive MBA from Rice University (Hoot! Hoot!) in Houston, Texas.