The Value Of Disclosure

As a sales person, one of the best pieces of advice I received was ‘bring more of the personal you to work’.  I had developed professional ‘sales persona’ that I thought was needed and which, over time, had diverged from the real me.I took this advice on board and, at the time, didn’t really understand why this change started to work.

I then ran across this model years later in my career:

What I didn’t then realise was this advice was helping me open my ‘Public Self’ – details about me that both I and those around know.  So was this important?  It helped me communicate and interact better with those around me.

When something was ‘Hidden’ – that is I knew about it but those around me didn’t – people didn’t understand my motives or why I reacted to certain things in certain ways.

In the case of the ‘Blind’ area – this was where people knew things about me that I actually didn’t know or realise about myself.  For example – they may see with more clarity the way I react in situations of stress or high workload and I may be ignorant to this.

By increasing the size of your ‘Open’ area – you can better relate and work with those around you – as both you and they know why you do and don’t do certain things.

How do you increase the Open Area?  Well, you shrink the Hidden by disclosing more about yourself (for example, I simply disclosed my Team Management Profile which highlighted I was a Thruster Organiser) and you shrink your Blind area by seeking honest feedback from those around you about yourself.  You’ve all possibly done this with ‘360 Degree Feedback’ which actually ties in to the Johari Window.

Similarly, many work places survey their clients for feedback.  What the failing is, seldom is it explained why this feedback is important for the person receiving it.

From here you can also develop a view of peoples personas (refer attached link)

The people we often view as confident are ‘Open Personas’ – as they know more about themselves and people know more about them, they sit very confidently when communicating.  They have less to fear as you see what you get and they seek feedback to ensure they know what others see in them.

As part of your 2014 personal growth plans – have a look at the above and assess whether you have a large or small ‘Open’ Area in your Johari window and, more importantly, try our giving and seeking disclosure with some people (internal and external) you work and see the effects.



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