Tech Blogs

Understanding the iceberg theory of behavior

According to the iceberg theory, a model of behavior that is commonly quoted, a person’s action can only be fully comprehended in the context of the circumstances that led to it. The behavior of a person is only “the top of the iceberg”; the underlying emotional, social, cultural, and other elements that influence that behavior remain hidden from view.

The hypothesis is widely applied in academia, business, and psychology. It is also a useful resource to keep on hand while handling issues in close relationships and developing self-awareness. Think of yourself as a boat passenger who has spotted an iceberg in the distance. What do you notice when you gaze at the iceberg? A chunk of ice you can’t see beneath the iceberg, hidden from our view, is another enormous mass of ice that supports and stabilizes it.

According to psychology’s Hemingway Iceberg theory, we only engage with the things that we can see with our eyes. The remainder is ignored, which is comparable to an iceberg. Although there is an unconscious component to knowledge, there is also a conscious component. To learn more about the iceberg theory of behavior, seek Online counseling at TalktoAngel.

Similarly to this, it is evident that “above the waterline” reflects behaviors and results, while “below the waterline” reflects the factors that motivate those behaviors and results when we examine the outcomes created by people and organizations. Our default investment seems to be a superficial and unsustainable concentration on creating what might be dubbed the tip of the iceberg in the fast-paced, fix-it world in which we live and work.

The Culture Iceberg Model

The Cultural Iceberg Model was created in the 1970s by anthropologist Edward T. Hall as a metaphor for the prevailing cultural codes in all societies. Icebergs found in polar seas are what gave rise to the term “Iceberg Model of Culture.” An iceberg has parts that are visible on the water’s surface and parts that are submerged and invisible. Up to 90% of an iceberg’s actual area is frequently still submerged. Similar to this, there are apparent and invisible components to culture and behavior. The outward manifestation of culture includes our customs, cuisine, and attire as well as the way we live and interact with one another.

Organizational culture as an iceberg

The visible and invisible components of an organization’s culture are like the tip of an iceberg. All People Can See A Company’s Corporate Brand, Values, And Behaviors. But like an iceberg, organizations are also driven by hidden behaviors, so leaders must look beyond outward signs of disengagement and high turnover rates.

They must delve further and pinpoint less obvious factors like employee resistance to change or a misalignment between a company’s strategy and culture. The Iceberg Model Can Be Used By Organizations to Gain a Deeper Understanding Of Cultural Disparities And Behavioral Competence In Teams

Three pillars of the iceberg model

  • Visible cultural practices

Focusing On Events Or Visible Cultural Practices Is The Very First Step When Applying The Iceberg Model. For instance, a visitor from one culture could experience cultural shock when they observe the differences in eating habits, lifestyles, and greeting customs in a different culture. One can have a deeper understanding of people and behavior, both at work and in everyday life, by being aware of the differences in cultural practices. Finding the beliefs, values, attitudes, and expectations that underpin a particular culture is one of the most crucial steps in using the cultural iceberg theory. In most cases, a person’s culture and community serve as a subconscious teacher of their values, beliefs, and attitudes.

  • Habits and patterns

The Iceberg Model of Culture states that behaviors frequently follow a pattern. Finding patterns can facilitate collaboration or change-making.

For instance, the team leader of an organization cannot comprehend why the employees are often late. Only after more investigation does she see a pattern: every day they stayed late for a meeting that frequently ran past its allotted time. So the following day, they arrived late for work. The team leader was able to identify the root of the issue by searching for invisible patterns. She made sure her team left the office on time and moved the daily meeting to the morning.

  • Mental models

Even if we are aware that some of the things we believe about ourselves may not be true, we all nevertheless hold onto these beliefs. These beliefs may pertain to you or the environment. Negative emotions like stress, anxiety, and frustration may result from them.

They hold a limiting belief, for instance, if they think they can’t do something because no one in their family has ever attempted it. This was made clear in the well-known movie Gully Boy, where the protagonist felt he was powerless to change his life and pursue his dream of becoming a famous rapper despite being told repeatedly that he could. His mental model was altered, and he realized his dream.

If you or your partner wants to learn more about the iceberg theory of behavior, feel free to seek Relationship Counselling at TalktoAngel.

Authors Bio:- Prof (Dr) R K Suri is a trained professional chartered clinical psychologist, having more than 38 years of experience in hypnotherapy, psychoanalysis, neuropsychological assessment, career counseling, and relationship management. Has been providing career counseling globally and has been providing counseling at IITs, IIMs, and SPAs, for admission to Universities in the US, UK, Australia, etc.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *