A confidential container or meeting space is necessary for a man to share anything personal with you. Especially anything about his feelings. Therefor view each of your meetings as a clay jar. Realize that gossip is deadly: it will break the fragile jar.
Why this analogy?
First, clay jars break easily. And so does confidentiality. Second, they are glazed, which keeps anything from leaking into or out of them. Any leaking (gossip) is deadly.
Each meeting has to sealed against anything leaking out or leaking in. It never hurts to remind guys of this at the beginning of each meeting.
Confidential things leaking out
Anything said or done by person in a meeting, has to have that person’s direct permission, for you to share it. Otherwise, it is gossip. I grew up on a small farm. Everyone knew “that what happens in the barn stays in the barn!” So remember “that what happens in a men’s meeting stays in that men’s meeting.”
Almost everyone agrees about not sharing things with others who were not present.
Now you can share your own experience in a meeting with someone who was not in that meeting. But you must never name another person in that meeting. Nor give any clue by which a very clever person might use to guess an identity. The best course is, of course, to say nothing because any gossip is deadly.
Confidential things leaking in
Inbound leaking is gossip about others not in this meeting shared in this meeting.
Something posted on Facebook, on a church prayer list, Twitter, or any other social media does not grant you permission to share it with anyone else.
A greater temptation is to try to help a man in this meeting by relating the experience of someone not in this meeting. Too often, the two experiences are not identical. Empathy and a hug might be helpful.
A glazed jar is often very beautiful. Beautiful is the meeting where no gossip leaks in or out. Repairing a broken clay jar is impossible. Where it once broke will remain visible. Again gossip is deadly.
What has been leaking into or out of your meetings?