Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Opening windows

Earlier on, Kinzi in a comment dropped a certain term... Johari window. At the time i never heard of the term and as usual it was on the list of things to read about (its an obscure list in my mind of random curious lil tid bit for instance the etymological root of arctic is arktos, the greek word for bear. back to the subject matter)

Now according to wiki;
A Johari window is a psychological tool created by Joseph Luft and Harry Ingham in 1955 in the United States, used to help people better understand their interpersonal communication and relationships. It is used primarily in self-help groups and corporate settings as a heuristic exercise.
When performing the exercise, the subject is given a list of 55 adjectives and picks five or six that they feel describe their own personality. Peers of the subject are then given the same list, and each pick five or six adjectives that describe the subject. These adjectives are then mapped onto a grid.
The grid is based on four quadrants based on who knows what, so you have stuff that others know about you and you don't know about your self (blindspot), others that you know about your self and others don't (facade). At first I thought it would be an interesting tool especially in teams to establish a common ground of familiarity between the team members and help then connect on a personal level which, in my opinion, helps a team operate more efficiently when you consider the other team memebers more than a 2-dimensional paper cut outs. Turns out that it also helps identify problem elements in an easy going exercise which sounds interesting.

OK so thats not exactly what I want to talk, but it served as the inspiration. Now if you notice there is a quadrant for secrets (things that you know but others don't) but what spun around in my head is that a secret is not problematic until a person you don't want to share your secret with knows about it.

After thinking about a bit more I tried to figure how would such a situation come about; First thing that came to mind is intuition and stumbling on them. For me its a big part since I do trust my intuition about things and it serves as an insight about the person am dealing with that won't be readily available otherwise. when it comes to its accuracy its relative but it always serves as an impetus for what follows.
Second thing that occurred to me, well the six degree of separation in Amman has been cut down in half. It is not that hard to learn about the life history of a person and his family in Amman, all you have to do is ask anyone. whats funny about that is usually you will be looking to gain as much information without raising any alarms.

The Third and last thing that occurred to me is to ask the person about what you are thinking about, the gutsy option. Usually i would say this is the most honest and better option out of all, since you don't have to beat around the bush.
The problem and the reactions that occur from it is what is problematic, people tend to not mind sharing their public information but as soon as you step on a private only topic a red flag will be raised. Since it will raise the question of how did you find out about it, rarely does intuition and stumbling upon them fly as a plausible answer since the person would have invested a great amount of energy in safe keeping that part. That usually starts to fester issues of mistrust.
Then the second logical path would be "why are you so interested in knowing that ? you want to black mail me or something?" which, I'd like to think, is rarely if ever the case. Non of us are really that important to be worth blackmailing.

So since the reaction will be mostly negative if you do go about the direct path the best way is to take the indirect one and drop hints about it candidly. Till the trust level reaches a certain point that he/she is willing to confide in you.
Though honestly if that level is never reached it really doesn't mean that you are not trust worthy, it might simply mean that somethings are better left off from the conversation.

I kind of lost my point along the way, the thing is that brought all this up is just how small Amman is and people by nature are curious. those two options combine for a lethal combination is that if you ever confide to anyone the news will travel like fire in august.
So happy secret safe keeping and enjoy life.

ps. nope don't think about that you know who you are :P muwahaha

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