Networking for breadth, not depth - The Workplace Stack Exchange
Breadth and Depth. The social penetration theory states that as relationships develop, communication moves from relatively shallow. breadth of relationship with our clients in service-based businesses. Now at Step Change, it's not “Take our advice, but we're not using it. careful with how much time you spend cultivating those relationships, especially if you aren't friends with those people. Depth vs Breadth.
Depth refers to how personal or sensitive the information is, and breadth refers to the range of topics discussed. Kathryn Greene, Valerian J.
Vangelisti and Daniel Perlman Cambridge: Cambridge University Press,— Social penetration theory compares the process of self-disclosure to peeling back the layers of an onion. Balancing a dialectic is like walking a tightrope. You have to lean to one side and eventually lean to another side to keep yourself balanced and prevent falling. The constant back and forth allows you to stay balanced, even though you may not always be even, or standing straight up. One of the key dialectics that must be negotiated is the tension between openness and closedness.
Cambridge University Press, We want to make ourselves open to others, through self-disclosure, but we also want to maintain a sense of privacy. We may also engage in self-disclosure for the purposes of social comparison. Social comparison theory Theory that states we evaluate ourselves based on how we compare with others. Owen Hargie, Skilled Interpersonal Interaction: Research, Theory, and Practice London: Routledge, We may disclose information about our intellectual aptitude or athletic abilities to see how we relate to others.
Self-Disclosure and Interpersonal Communication
This type of comparison helps us decide whether we are superior or inferior to others in a particular area. Disclosures about abilities or talents can also lead to self-validation if the person to whom we disclose reacts positively.
By disclosing information about our beliefs and values, we can determine if they are the same as or different from others. Last, we may disclose fantasies or thoughts to another to determine whether they are acceptable or unacceptable. We can engage in social comparison as the discloser or the receiver of disclosures, which may allow us to determine whether or not we are interested in pursuing a relationship with another person.
The final theory of self-disclosure that we will discuss is the Johari window, which is named after its creators Joseph Luft and Harrington Ingham. National Press Books, The Johari window Concept that can be applied to a variety of interpersonal interactions in order to help us understand what parts of ourselves are open, hidden, blind, and unknown. To help understand the concept, think of a window with four panes.
As you can see in Figure 6. The upper left pane contains open information that is known to us and to others. The amount of information that is openly known to others varies based on relational context. When you are with close friends, there is probably a lot of information already in the open pane, and when you are with close family, there is also probably a lot of information in the open pane.
The information could differ, though, as your family might know much more about your past and your friends more about your present. The bottom left pane contains hidden information that is known to us but not to others. By doing this, we decrease the size of our hidden area and increase the size of our open area, which increases our shared reality.
The reactions that we get from people as we open up to them help us form our self-concepts and also help determine the trajectory of the relationship. If the person reacts favorably to our disclosures and reciprocates disclosure, then the cycle of disclosure continues and a deeper relationship may be forged.
The upper right pane contains information that is known to others but not to us. For example, we may be unaware of the fact that others see us as pushy or as a leader.Women of Different Religions Give Relationship Advice Together
Looking back to self-discrepancy theory from Chapter 2 "Communication and Perception"we can see that people who have a disconnect between how they see themselves and how others see them may have more information in their blind pane. Engaging in perception checking and soliciting feedback from others can help us learn more about our blind area. The bottom right pane represents our unknown area, as it contains information not known to ourselves or others. To become more self-aware, we must solicit feedback from others to learn more about our blind pane, but we must also explore the unknown pane.
To discover the unknown, we have to get out of our comfort zones and try new things. We have to pay attention to the things that excite or scare us and investigate them more to see if we can learn something new about ourselves. By being more aware of what is contained in each of these panes and how we can learn more about each one, we can more competently engage in self-disclosure and use this process to enhance our interpersonal relationships.
Facebook and Twitter offer convenient opportunities to stay in touch with friends, family, and coworkers, but are people using them responsibly? Even though some colleges are offering seminars on managing privacy online, we still hear stories of self-disclosure gone wrong, such as the football player from the University of Texas who was kicked off the team for posting racist comments about the president or the student who was kicked out of his private, Christian college after a picture of him dressed in drag surfaced on Facebook.
Issues in Higher Education 26, no. My Parents Joined Facebook. How do you manage your privacy and self-disclosures online? Why or why not? Are you or would you be friends with a parent on Facebook? If you already are friends with a parent, did you change your posting habits or privacy settings once they joined? The Process of Self-Disclosure There are many decisions that go into the process of self-disclosure.
We have many types of information we can disclose, but we have to determine whether or not we will proceed with disclosure by considering the situation and the potential risks. Then we must decide when, where, and how to disclose.
Since all these decisions will affect our relationships, we will examine each one in turn. Four main categories for disclosure include observations, thoughts, feelings, and needs. Observations include what we have done and experienced. For example, I could tell you that I live in a farmhouse in Illinois.
If I told you that I think my move from the city to the country was a good decision, I would be sharing my thoughts, because I included a judgment about my experiences. There are some exceptions to this. I imagine that we have all been in a situation where we said more about ourselves to a stranger than we normally would. Generally speaking, some people are naturally more transparent and willing to self-disclose, while others are more opaque and hesitant to reveal personal information.
Van Nostrand Reinhold, Interestingly, recent research suggests that the pervasiveness of reality television, much of which includes participants who are very willing to disclose personal information, has led to a general trend among reality television viewers to engage in self-disclosure through other mediated means such as blogging and video sharing.
Whether it is online or face-to-face, there are other reasons for disclosing or not, including self-focused, other-focused, interpersonal, and situational reasons. Self-focused reasons for disclosure include having a sense of relief or catharsis, clarifying or correcting information, or seeking support. Self-focused reasons for not disclosing include fear of rejection and loss of privacy. In other words, we may disclose to get something off our chest in hopes of finding relief, or we may not disclose out of fear that the other person may react negatively to our revelation.
To that extent, self-disclosure early in a relationship may enhance interpersonal attraction by providing more cues that can reduce uncertainty i. Specifically, studies have shown that reduction in uncertainty may have a negative effect on impression formation in the initial stages of relationships e. Relatedly, information-processing models of attraction suggest that disclosure would result in positive relational outcomes only if the recipient evaluates the information positively Ajzen, One critical dimension of self-disclosure that has received due attention in relation to relationship initiation is what Greene et al.
For example, according to Greene et al. Despite such conceptual variation, however, the literature suggests that both of the potential mechanisms, summarized above, regarding the positive impact of disclosure to relational outcomes are applicable to disclosure breadth. Earlier research on CMC e. However, perspectives like the social information processing SIP theory Walther, suggest that just like in face-to-face relationships, CMC users are highly motivated to form impressions about others and reduce interpersonal uncertainty.
Specifically, SIP predicts that particularly when non-verbal cues are missing, users will utilize a number of cues, such as content, delivery style and timing of self-disclosure to form impressions about others. In line with the premises of SIP, there is ample evidence suggesting that the mechanisms described above in relation to disclosure-liking effect will be present, and potentially be more intense, in CMC settings. Second, a number of studies report that irrespective of the actual content of messages shared, the frequency with which information is exchanged among dyads is positively associated with higher levels of sense of closeness and familiarity in CMC contexts e.
More specifically with respect to the relationship between breadth of disclosure and interpersonal attraction, evidence from research on CMC and relationship initiation suggests that increasing breadth of information shared in online relationships leads to higher liking and trust in different settings such as computer conferencing Walther,newsgroup interactions McKenna et al.
Such mixed results are partly because these studies confound breadth of information with other factors associated with impression formation such as presence of photos Limperos et al.
On the other hand, research on online dating sites suggests that an increase in the amount of information i. Hence, our first two hypotheses propose: Accordingly, while conducive to reducing uncertainty, disclosing intimate information i. Research underlines two key reasons for this outcome. First, disclosure of intimate information may be perceived as inappropriate and as a violation of norms regarding tactfulness, especially during the initial stages of a relationship. This is largely due to the openness of the participation structure—defined in terms of the size of the group and directedness of communication—of SNSs Herring, Research on the impact of disclosure depth on interpersonal attraction on SNSs parallels findings from studies on face-to-face interactions.
In a similar vein, a study by Bazarova suggests that in SNS sites, viewers consider disclosure of intimate information as appropriate only when it is shared privately rather than with all the network. Hence, we predict that: Respective impacts of breadth and depth of disclosure.
To our knowledge, there is a dearth of studies that investigate the relative influence of these two dimensions breadth and depth of disclosure on interpersonal attraction and how they interact with each other within the context of SNSs.
The Realistic Accuracy Model Funder, ; Funder, provides a framework within which we can consider the respective roles that breadth and depth of disclosed information may play in evaluation of an SNS profile. According to this model, accuracy of the judgment about a person depends on: As discussed in detail below, our last question in this study concerns this interaction between breadth and depth of information.
On the one hand, whereas increasing the quantity of information provides more data points for making judgments, concurrently increasing intimacy of information may further enhance attributional confidence by revealing relevant information about source characteristics. On the other hand, sheer increase in amount of information does not necessarily lead to better judgments about others. According to RAM, certain types of information e.
Considered from this perspective, it is possible that concurrently increasing breadth and depth of may result in crowding-out of intimate information with higher potential diagnostic value.
In literature on consumer-decision making, for example, studies have repeatedly found evidence indicating that increased amounts of information leads to lower decision quality e. There is growing evidence suggesting that information overload may have important consequences for utilization of SNSs. For example, earlier research indicate that information overload may result in users feeling overwhelmed, stressed and dissatisfied with an SNS platform, and may even lead to withdrawal from a platform e.
Given these considerations, we further investigate the following research question: How do breadth and depth of information shared in a profile interact in predicting attributional confidence about the profile owner?
To investigate the hypotheses and research question described above, we present results from two online experiments. Hence, the first study focuses solely on breadth of information H1, H2.