Thursday, April 16, 2009

Getting to Know Your Hidden Agendas

You may be thinking that hidden agendas are sinister, but they're not. They're perfectly harmless most of the time, but they can tell you a lot about yourself. And it has been said that self-knowledge is the beginning of wisdom.

The textbook, Communicating at Work, by Adler and Elmhorst, defines hidden agendas as personal goals that are not made public. It's not important that these personal goals be made public, what is important is that you don't hide them from yourself in your attempt to fit what you think are other people's expectations of yourself.

Sometimes in trying to shrink ourselves so that others feel more comfortable around us, we forget important details about our own personal preferences and desires.

Here are some examples of common hidden agendas:
- Wanting to build a closer personal relationship with someone on the committee, even a romantic relationship.

- Wanting to show people that you really are an expert in a certain area.

- Wanting just to be noticed.

- Wanting to unveil an uncomfortable truth about something, or somebody.

- Wanting to beef up your resume so you can get a better job elsewhere.

I know a blogwriter who has several hidden agendas at work: She wants to leverage her substantial investment in her formal education, but also to connect with her friends all over the world + express her ideas freely. She has the raw ambition to be a publisher and future coach to a select group of really cool women. Whew. Now that those agendas are out, I'm feeling much better now. ;-)

It could lead to a different career, a new hobby, or just a more contented you.