On Balancing The Different Parts Of Yourself

Humans are complex beings. Having multiple identity points and aspirations, we are repositories of different aspirations always striving to strike a balance between our different selves. An article that appeared on the Harvard Business Review terms this multifacetedness as a ‘portfolio of selves.’

While the complexity in question is an intriguing element of human existence, it also poses a problem- that of finding the time and space to allow all the different ‘selves’ to mature in an organic manner. But change agents often end up focusing too much on their work selves that the other identities - of  being a parent, artist, social being etc. get sidelined.

Balancing professional, individual and the familial selves in you could be hard

So, is there a way to find the space in your busy work life for your other selves? That’s the question which the HBR article asks. And the solutions it offers are simple yet practicable. They also form inextricable part of the Temenos Vision Lab.

Change how you think of yourself

Everyone has a story about themselves. A narrative which defines who they are. So, it makes sense that the first step you take to synchronise your various selves is to change how you think of yourself. This involves three steps.

The first is reflecting on your identity, to unravel the different selves that you contain. A murky picture of these selves would only be a cause for fear- the fear of the unknown. So, taking the time to gain clarity on the different sides to yourself would be a huge first step in taking command of your selves.

This notion of framing an alternate story is central to Personal Mythology- a session that forms part of the Temenos Vision Lab(TVL). The session comprises of the three steps of introspection, visualization and articulation. Introspection helps assess your self and evoke past memories that may be lying buried in your mind. Visualization, as the term suggests helps you form a clear picture of the past actions based on which you have defined yourself as a person. Articulation is all about framing the insights you gained from the two preceding steps so that you now have an objective picture of which aspects of your self you need to carry forward and which you need to improve.

The sum total of this process is that you change the way you view yourself, so you get into a position to take better command of yourself.

Influence maps- a methodology Temenos developed for TVL

Resisting a binary mode of thinking about self forms the second step. It’s  human tendency to define yourself in terms of different identities- the mother, the employee, the gallivanter etc. While demarcating identities is something of a zeitgeist these days when ‘time management’ is stressed a lot, the fact remains that you couldn’t switch from one identity to the next on command. That’s simply alien to human nature. Acknowledging this, and knowing that embracing one identity needn’t exclude another would serve you well.

The third step is to foster connections between the different selves. Instead of focusing on the divisions, you could look for the commonalities between the selves. For instance, if you are an academic teacher, a blogger and also a physical fitness trainer, the commonality between the different selves could be the element of instructing someone. Another way to connect identities is by complementing one self with another, thereby becoming more resourceful. For example, a teacher who interacts with students could draw from that experience and use the learning to communicate effectively through blogging. In other words, you capitalise on the connections.

Change the way you relate to others

Now that you have seen how to change the narrative about yourself, it’s time to look outwards and see how to change the way you relate to others.

This too involves three steps, the first of which is to find the balance between your different selves. The balance could be defined on individual terms- by allocating the time for each self based on priority levels.

The second step is to ensure that you preserve the boundaries of each self. For instance, some change agents use different social media pages or even platforms for their professional and personal selves.

The third step involves presenting yourself in a thoughtful manner to others. This essentially means that you don’t have to divulge information related to your different selves to everyone. Say if you are interacting with a client who hails from the same town or city as you, you could give more vent to your regional identity with that person, while for a client from another nation, you could present your cosmopolitan self.  

Changing how you relate to others could make the workplace a more dynamic environment

The TVL sessions are avenues which not only stimulate personal growth but also encourage meaningful interactions with fellow seekers of progress as change agents. In a friendly and serene environment, exchanging ideas and exploring new concepts form the order of the day. This not just leads to fruitful connections but also betters you in terms of presenting yourself and finding the right balance between your learning self and the self which finds meaning in sharing knowledge with others.

Accommodate others’ complexities

As mentioned before, complexity is inherent to all humans. This makes it imperative that you should provide space for the complexities in the others you interact with. For this you would have to do two things.

The first is to rethink your role models. Typically, role models are seen as people who focused on one aspect of their identity with laser-sharp attention and excelled on it. However, that mental model is flawed. Everyone- even those who made a mark in a particular facet of human endeavor has different selves. Within organizations, it’s always a great idea to allow the change agents to express identities other than their work selves- by inviting the vocally blessed to share a tune during an office event, or the avid travellers to share tidbits from an adventurous journey etc. This way the team members get a view of change agents and leaders as multifaceted personalities, helping disrupt their tunnel view about role models.

The second thing you need to do is give the team members the opportunities to expand their identities. This means helping them get out of their comfort zones and interact with scenarios and people who may not strictly fall in the ambit of work. By letting them explore their extra-professional selves, they become more holistic individuals- more composed and in better command of their selves, which would reflect positively in their job too.

By its very nature of bringing like-minded people under the same roof, TVL is a platform that often brings people holding mutually complementing ideas in close proximity. And even if their viewpoints are dramatically different, that’s one more opportunity to broaden your horizons and learn how to accommodate views which you may never have entertained before.

Accommodating others’ complexities lead to wider communities

At its core, TVL is a session carefully designed with over 25 years worth of business consultancy experience to help change agents gain a clear vision with which to lead their teams. It also helps teams to devise a Compelling Shared Vision. But going into the minutiae, it’s about finding your different selves, bridging the gaps between them, shifting your viewpoints, making connections with others and more. Much more.

You can look into the TVL sessions. Temenos conducts around the world right here. Find a venue and date of your convenience and drop in. The self that leaves the session would be far more enriched than the one that came in.

For change agents and leaders, not to benefit from meaningful events and gatherings is a missed opportunity! We invite you to indulge in some of the most transformational events from Temenos; designed with hard-earned understanding, organized just for you.

Temenos Vision Lab- Online ( June 29, 2018)

We invite you to this special gathering, which brings together a group of wonderful people who fill workplaces with joy and energy. By connecting with each other, you embark on a journey that leads to better clarity about the changes you seek, gain collaboration opportunities and leave with a concrete action plan.

Temenos Vision Lab- Amsterdam, Netherlands( Nov 2, 2018)

Another venue to take an exquisite inner journey, to find your true Vision.

Temenos Effect Gathering 2018- Bengaluru, India(Dec 8 to Dec 9, 2018)

An event dedicated to the idea of personal mastery, for nurturing your beautiful self, for change agents and leaders to become their true selves.

For more details, visit our website - https://www.visiontemenos.com/events

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