Identity

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I remember when I joined Microsoft, I was given a badge. When I received it, I merely thought of it as an access device. But over time I realised it had certain powers and privileges that others, for e.g. vendors that worked side by side with us, didn't. I also realized that when I visited clients, some treated me with a lot of deference and respect and others with distrust thinking I had come to sell them products (I hadn't). 

 

Over time, I also realised wearing the badge came with an expectation of certain thoughts, feelings and behaviours. For example, I became very aggressive, always with an opinion, in constant learn mode, eager to have my presence felt, always positive when with others. I didn’t see this till a childhood friend pointed it out to me. These aspects were probably always a part of my personality, but I think they were raised to another level with the company I kept. This understanding was further confirmed when I was with other groups where I had a different identity; for example, when I was with friends, or family. The feelings, thoughts and behaviour that I experienced in these different settings were very different. But I also realised there were boundary crossovers, like my friend pointed out. Some were healthy and some were not. And my further growth and development required me to be aware of them.

Every organization/group shapes us, gives us a sense of self, an Identity. This identity is a clue to the culture of the Organization. The faster we learn what it is, the better our chances of success within the organization/group. We all have a vague sense of this Identity but since it is never articulated to ourselves and discussed it remains a dark force that we sometimes resist to our own detriment.

 

This experiential workshop is an opportunity to become intimate with your Organizational Identity and its affect on you.

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