Thursday, September 22, 2011

Peeling back the layers

Everyone thinks about onions as they sit on their lounges and watch television - don't they? So what makes me think of an onion as I sit here tonight?

For starters, I was thinking about the different aspects of co-workers personalities, and my own for that matter.

I was also pondering the sometimes irritating behaviours of others and also recognising my own behaviour and how people might view me at any given time.

This made me think of the different parts of our personalities and how much we feel comfortable in revealing to others. So then  I arrived at the onion - I know that somewhere over the years I've heard the metaphor of onion and personality.

So my best mate Google and I did some searching and below is one of the things that I found which might make sense of my thinking (okay maybe not). Basically personality is defined in layers much like an onion and as you peel back the layers and delve deeper you get closer to the inner core, the true person so to speak. Summary of the layers follows or the full article is available here.

The Outer Layer is the one we tend to keep on display - the one that the 'world' observes and the one against which we are mostly 'judged' by others. In the outer layer we are able to observe our behavioural skills - the various actions that we take - the techniques that we use to get into action - and many of our day to day habits that come and go over time.

The Middle layer contains some of the deeper attitudes that we hold beneath the surface of our day to day actions and behaviour. By exploring this layer we can learn much more about how we see ourselves and understand about those Values we have been learned in our life. This Middle Layer also hosts some of our more Enduring Habits.

The Central Core holds our deep seated energy, our inner motivation to act and the way that we are likely to interact with others. In our core we will find our basic 'world views' and strongly held beliefs.

See what training does to you, it makes you go home and think about totally off the wall things. I've spent all day at work going over the concepts from our Team Leadership and Effectiveness training and creating posters of the guiding principles for the project team. Then I come home and instead of relaxing, I'm thinking about stinky, smelly onions and how they relate to the layers of our personality.

I think I need a holiday already. The urgency and unpredictability of project work is really good at peeling back the layers and uncovering the true essence of a person. Three weeks down and only 3.4 years to go, that's only potentially 1200 days give or take a few.

Not even sure where I'm going with this post, other than to help my understanding that team members have many different layers and it's going to be interesting peeling back the layers as we work within the project constraints. The thing is, peeling onions often makes people cry (except for me, because contact lenses do have one advantage) which probably means there's some interesting times ahead.

Cheers, Fi

Life is like an onion: you peel it off one layer at a time, and sometimes you weep - Carl Sandburg

1 comment:

Everyone has something valuable to say and I would love for you to share your thoughts