HR | Atlantic - Positive Change at Work

What masks do employees wear?

Oct 30, 2008

People express different aspects of themselves in different contexts.  For example, consider the mild-mannered parent might be an intense rick-coach.  We wear masks in our workplace setting.  Understanding out workplace masks, or personas, can help individuals enhance their organizational effeectiveness.

“The persona is that which in reality one is not, but which oneself as well as others think one is.” —
Carl Jung.

The term “persona” comes from the Greek word for the large masks that early Greek actors used.  The primary function of the mask was not to hide the actor but to help the audience understand the character.  The persona is the mask or role that a person plays in in various contexts.

Our personas can be helpful.  They provide some predictablity regarding the roles in relationships.  For example, the personas of doctor and patient or of student and teachercan be useful in knowing what to do, when, and where. Other examples of the persona are: mother, father, spouse, lawyer, judge, police officer, baker.  But sometimes people do not share a common understanding of what our masks mean.  The definition of appropriate behaviour for ‘co-workers’, ‘colleagues’, ’employees’ or ‘the boss’ may vary.  Furthermore, our own innate personality traits influence how our personas appear to others.  These differences can either serve as a source of friction or a source of energy for group dynamics.
Achieving a better understanding of how we are perceived by others, and what personal traits are driving the behaviours of others is a powerful means of improving workplace communication, and enhancing our ability to build positive relationships with our colleagues, co-workers and clients.

Insights Personal Effectiveness Programme embraces a simple model that enables individuals to gain self-awareness through the combination of an on-line assessment tool, a personalized report, and follow-up with an accredited Insights facilitator.  The programme provides an introduction to the Insights Discovery learning system and the Insights Discovery Personal Profile. The approach is fun and interactive and gives participants a language and framework for understanding themselves and others better which they can put into practice immediately.

For more information on the Insights Discovery Personal Effectiveness Programme contact Carol Gabanna

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