The Identity Iceberg is something you may have come across in the past. It’s a useful tool to help explain how an environment influences identity. 


At first glance, we assume icebergs to be small as we often underestimate what lies below the water’s surface. In the context of identity, the top half of the iceberg refers to the small part of ourselves that we choose to show to the world; our actions, behaviour and decisions. However, below the surface is a much larger part of ourselves and our identity that we keep hidden from the world; skills, beliefs and values. 


A person’s skills, beliefs and values lie at their core and are fundamental to their identity. To improve ourselves, we can change our actions, behaviour and decisions but that change must be reflected in our skills, beliefs and values for it to be sincere and a part of our identity. 


For instance, you may agree in the office that pizza sounds great for your staff dinner. But deep down… you’ve never liked pizza. 


The environment you are in is very influential on your behaviour. Referring back to the Identity Iceberg, it will melt or grow depending on the temperature of the water. The idea is that your behaviour will change depending on your environment.


Creating a positive and welcoming environment for your employees encourages a positive and productive change in behaviour that promotes results.