re: Self-Deprecation Needs to 🛑 VIEW POST

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I like the idea of asking a lot of questions and fostering an environment where posing many questions is seen as a positive.

I think that self-deprecation, especially in humor, is an effective method for setting up a low-ego environment, which may often lead others (especially from underrepresented groups) to feel safe enough to contribute.

If we make self-deprecation become the norm, then that habit may creep up during job interviews and performance assessments. It will negatively affect us in the long run.

I wonder if there is a way to foster a low-ego environment without the need to self-deprecate? 🤔

thanks for your thoughts John!

 

If we make self-deprecation become the norm, then that habit may creep up during job interviews and performance assessments. It will negatively affect us in the long run.

I agree with you. By no means should it be the norm and there are certainly other ways to foster a low-ego environment. I've been reading The Culture Code: The Secrets of Highly Effective Groups, by Daniel Coyle, and I highly recommend it. He speaks about our subconscious need for reassurance of safety. One way that you can foster a low-ego environment is to have people work very closely together and constantly reassure them of their worth and safety. It sounds very silly and obvious, but Coyle provides a scientific basis for these claims.

I think like many things, the benefit or harm of using self-deprecation comes from intent. For instance, I may use self-deprecation to break the ice in a tense situation because I know myself and I am confident in my self-worth. I'm willing to make fun of myself so that the other person feels safer in the environment that we share. This is a very different context for self-deprecation than you describe in your article and that's why I absolutely agree with your post. To use self-deprecation as a shield is only covering up a vulnerable point and will cause more harm than good. It's the job of every person to make sure that we don't force other people to feel like they need to do this to be accepted.

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