Saturday, January 19, 2008

Self-disclosure...Or So I Thought

The postings on this site are my own and don't necessarily represent IBM's positions, strategies or opinions.

Fooling Myself

A team meeting we had earlier this week made me consider my level of self-absorption even further; I was disappointed by an exercise we did for fun, where we guessed everything from one another's pets' names to last movie seen or book read, to one of our career aspirations in or outside of IBM. The team was divided in half and the half that had to guess my answers got only three out of nine correct.

The lack of correct guesses shocked me because I thought I was the world's most self-disclosing person.

Self-disclosure on a blog that no one from my team keeps up with religiously vs. self-disclosure during casual conversation with team members should not lead me to be disappointed that they didn't know/understand me better, I realized. In fact, there were a number of teammates who were as apparently mysterious as I.

One of the items, a "wildcard - nugget that you want to share" was written by another colleague, but everyone thought it was mine: "Despite my gregarious appearance, I need significant amounts of time alone." I knew just whose it was and wondered why people mistook that for my sentiment. I decided that it was as much about their not having paid attention to his personality as it was about not having sufficiently regarded mine.

Maybe they picked up on something I've written about, if not talked about: I'm a lonely soul. I don't seek solitude, but rather, often, feel lonely or alone in my experience, and that's just me temperamentally.

Fringe Blogging Benefit

A few weeks ago, I was pleasantly surprised by another exercise, where a number of us completed a Johari Window for one another; the word selected most often by colleagues to describe me was, "trustworthy."

My conclusion was that my habitual self-disclosure on my blog built trust with others, whether or not they were aware that I was disclosing....There was no paradox there, when I thought about it; there was a comfort in my own skin I gained from blogging my thoughts and it naturally informed how I moved through the world, and they caught that vibe whether or not they ever saw the blog.


Marni said...

Hi Rarly,

The Johari Window is a neat idea, i'm inspired to send it around to some people.

Here's a funny thing though. After a minute it struck me how it was entirely positive qualities, and the Cheryl Wheeler song with the two versions (Gandhi/Buddha and its...opposite) popped into my highly associative mind, and i wondered about a 'dark side' version... and then finally scanned to the bottom of the page where i discovered the "Nohari Window" link.

I guess some things are universal. :)



Sarah Siegel said...

Now, who would ever send around the Nohari window (the nasty version)? I saw it, too, and don't really want to know if anyone would describe me as having those qualities.

And the Johari window is informative, albeit nearly purely-positive.