What type of person are you? What type of humour do you have? What are the stories you tell others about yourself? Do you have a certain way of doing things? These are the things that make up your personality, various elements which combined are greater than the sum of the parts.
Stories – Past events that you and others tell to provide information about yourself. That time you got backstage at that rock concert – or when you forgot your keys and ended up with the police thinking you were a burglar…or how you defended your friend in a crowed bar..
Customs and rituals - The way you do things. Insist on research before booking a holiday – or you must always put mascara on before you leave the house – you always have hot chocolate before bed…
Values – What values do you have? What’s important to you? How do you prioritise your life? Always put family first? What about the work values you have?
Beliefs – What are your beliefs about the world? Do you believe people are generally good? Do you think that given half a chance people will take an opportunities to pull the wool over your eyes?
Behaviours – What does your behaviour look like? Do people comment how you are a good listening? What about how you behave when someone needs help? Do you walk to a rhythm?
Symbols – Always carry an item with you that means something? A photo in your wallet? Do you associate or love a particular item – a friend of mine used to adore elephants and would have lots of elephants everywhere.
All of the above combine to form your personality. The culture of you so to speak. You have acquired a body of knowledge about how to behave and this enables everyone else to interpret and understand how to act with you and what type of person you are.
Now think about these things in relation to your family. What culture does your family have? What stories are told? What rituals do you complete? What shared behaviours and do have? Christmas is coming, what rituals do you always complete then? You family is made up of many parts that form a unique whole. A collective belief that in turn shape behaviour. We are behaving according to our families culture – or at least in their company we do.
In the work context – organisations have culture. I’m sure you were told stories when you arrived – what happened at the last Christmas do – that time that manager totally lost it – the time you all got out earlier due to a leaking pipe…
You actions within organisations often conform to their culture . . . without even realising it . . .