When people are being asked about their work or their activities, it is easy for them to see a connection between themselves as a person and the work they do. It can make them proud as they are seen for the work they do. It can make them anxious as their work can be questioned.
It has been an easy road for most to ask themselves how to develop themselves and become better. But at the same time it is closely linked to who they are. The more personal development we’ve added in the last decades, the more development has become an idea to change themselves and who they are.
This is missing the mark.
Who someone is cannot be changed. A person’s identity or self is a given. It doesn’t change. It can only become clearer to others when the person settles in who they are and learn to show that person. It’s a position that becomes more visible to others and where the person grounds herself in.
A focus on the person is one that aims at the self and possibly on changing who someone is. It easily touches the person’s ego. From there it is natural that people shift their position to be on their guard and search for ways to present themselves at their best.
And yes, sometimes people have become so accustomed to being questioned that they’ll connect any question about their work with who they are.
Hearing and listening to the question can be just as important as asking the question.
What eases things is to distinguish between what people do and who people are.
People can decide to change what they do. Not who they are.