The benefits of authenticity
I regularly defend the interest of real authenticity (and real integrity). This does not mean being obtuse and closed. It mixes a lot of ideas like having a good intention, good posture, coherence between words and actions, #nobullshit, #skininthegame and other things. My goal here is to tell you about a little path recently presented to a few teams at beNext on storytelling and Johari’s window that simply shows the virtues of authenticity.
Johari’s window is an interesting little diagram about known and unknown areas between people. There is the “it’s known to everyone” zone, the “only I know” zone, the “only he knows” zone, and finally the “what we don’t know” zone.
The whole point is to enlarge the window within the window. In the beginning everyone only knows what is in the square at the top left (“what everyone knows”).
It is by revealing things about yourself that you allow your interviewer to reveal things about you. And together you can discover the area that both of you have been ignoring.
Example: If you tell him what music you like (you reveal your space), he may tell you which music he likes (he reveals a piece of his space) and you both discover that you had the same music teacher (you reveal the space unknown by each).
If you don’t open up, don’t expect the other person to do it spontaneously. And neither of you will discover this common area that is ignored by both of you.
I evoked Johari’s window to get the people at beNext to talk about them authentically when he mentioned beNext. And speaking about them authentically they would reveal themselves, which would help their interlocutors to do the same, and maybe they would discover things together.
The best way to have this dialogue is to do storytelling. I brought out an old workshop I did with Oana Juncu(in 2013?). As she says so well: “the brain is wired stories”. A story is much better remembered than a simple monologue. To transmit, memorize, and make oneself understood nothing is better than a story. Besides, you won’t be able to tell what you don’t understand. But then what is a story? Broadly speaking, here are the components of a story:
- What’s the heart of the matter?
- Who are the protagonist(s)?
- What’s the setting?
We must set the scene, its protagonists and make it clear what is the heart of the matter.
- What’s the problem? The impediment?
- What is the trigger?
A story has a situation that must change, there is a dynamic, a problem, an impediment, and a trigger that pushes the protagonist(s) to change the situation (the setting).
- Can you describe the path to resolution?
- What is the outcome and what is the new situation?
This change of situation usually occurs in several clear steps that lead to a resolution and thus a new state of affairs.
By telling a story about a subject, you allow a much better memorization and transmission. By telling your story on a subject you tell yourself authentically by revealing an impediment, a problem and your steps to solve it. In this way you reveal your space in the Johari window and you will surely have the chance to see your interlocutor’s space revealed and to share a space unknown to both of you.