The Analysis of Healthy/Unhealthy Self-Disclosure in the Workplace

By | 2020-01-20

Self-disclosure refers to the act of making one known to other people. Every individual has a different way of making people around them notice them in what they do. At the work place, employees may want to show themselves to others and proof their existence. Self-disclosure can be both healthy and unhealthy depending on the strategies used and its general aim. Theories of interpersonal communication can be used to analyze the type of self-disclosure of workers in the workplace.

Systems perspective theory explains that the way employees communicate at the work place can be used to generalize the relationship between employees and employers (Beebe, 31). Employees may speak of their present achievements in education and experience at the work place. They make other people recognize their abilities and potential in relation to the job. It is a healthy way of disclosing one’s self and it encourages others to gain experience. However, if employees are not able to share their personal attainment freely, then the working environment is not friendly. The employees may be scared of losing their jobs if they discuss their educational attainment especially if they develop the notion that it is against the management policies.

From the systems perspective theory, employers that know much about their managers indicate the existence of a positive relationship at the work place (Beebe, 33). The workers are able to communicate regularly to their manager. They share experience and motivational stories. Employers that have disclosed personal information such as attainment and experience act as mentors to the young and less experienced employees. The junior managers are able to remain honest to their senior managers when they understand more about them. However, when the employers remain stern to sharing experience and interacting, many employees develop negative attitude towards them. They fear his principles and rules, which makes them work to satisfactory instead of working to achieve their best.

Politeness theory provides that employees should communicate with respect and the ethics upon which the company or business is build (Beebe, 42). By being polite to each other, they show to the external environment a healthy face, which is ready for business. For instance, employees in the marketing department are able to attract the attention of many clients by communicating politely. The information disclosed when one is polite is entirely soft and well organized. Politeness allows one to think clearly before they make statements. The sales department also is subject to politeness. Clients coming to the company to make purchases interact with the sales personnel, the first impression they develop with the sales determines their business relationship in future. Lack of politeness in employees can be described as unhealthy self-disclosure to the external environment, which may not attract business opportunities.

The social exchange theory provides that people at the work place should interact to form concrete relationships that last for long (Beebe, 46). The relationships should be based of dependence and teamwork. Employees that are not able to disclose self-information to others to find common abilities and interest discourage long term relationships from developing. On the other side, employees that disclose information that is irrelevant at the work place may form relationships that discourage other workers from participating in team work. For example, employees that disclose personal information on previous working stations and the high wages they received in comparison to the present may discourage others. Such self-disclosure is unhealthy and may lead to lack of friends at the workplace. In order for employees to maintain a healthy self-disclosure, they should share the most recent information and ignore the past.  However, employers that share their past experience and how they started in business to the present status create a motivation forum for their workers. Unhealthy self-disclosure such as revealing information about one’s family problems may result to division among employees.

Dialectical perspective theory explains that there should be constant communication at the workplace for effective tension management (Beebe, 67). Employees need the managers to inform them on their general performance and how they should improve on skills. The profits generated in a company add up to personal income of the manager or employer. Therefore, exposing it periodically is a way of self-disclosure of ones riches. However, since it contributes to the motivation of workers, it is regarded as healthy. The employer should not assume the outside world. Sharing possible ways of solving social problems in the family and on income management is important to the workers. However, they should hold talks to discourage employees from exposing personal information such as the salary package at the workplace since it discourages other employers that are paid lesser salaries.

In conclusion, intercommunication theories provide a guideline to unhealthy and healthy self-disclosure. For instance, employees that share personal information regarding their family issues and past experiences are likely to create division at the work place, which is unhealthy. However, sharing of the most recent information relating to the work place is healthy. Employees should emplace dialogue in their companies since it creates a friendly atmosphere and eases tension among workers but sometimes happens situations when workers create an unintentionally bad atmosphere because of some misunderstanding or some social differences.