“Just be yourself!”
“Show up as your whole self!”
Authenticity is being real, honest, truthful, genuine, and sincere. When you are authentic, there is an alignment between how you are on the inside and how you present yourself to others. One of the places we might struggle to be authentic is at work.
I have seen people who appear to be performing for an audience, I have honest sharing was harmful to others justified as being authentic. So, what does authenticity mean? How can you find and nurture it?
I would ask you to think about what authenticity feels like to you:
• How does it feel when you are being your best authentic self?
• What are the occasions when you have been able to be your best authentic self? How do you recognise it?
• How does it feel to be with someone who is being their best authentic self?
Authenticity is especially hard when we step into the role of a leader. Over the course of our careers we have built up our own and our perceptions of people’s expectations and judgements about how we ‘should’ be. These expectations can be disguised into the ‘qualities of a good leader’.
Think about how it feels to be with someone who is being their best authentic self, you can start to see why we need authentic leaders.
They bring out the best in us, we feel a sense of belonging, to ourselves and to others. Authenticity around us is an invitation to be more authentic ourselves.
The world of business has created a ‘perform and prove mindset’, where we show strength and authority. But the challenges ahead of us, for society and the climate, need more human approach to leadership. A better connection with purpose, values and responsibility for people.
We need leaders we can trust and we can connect with and means making space for authenticity.
Can you fake it?
I have been asked this question many times…
Authenticity by definition cannot be faked.
Fake authenticity seeks fame, to be known. It is motivated by wanting something in return. Genuine authenticity takes a risk that they will be known, they are willing to show the messy and ugly so that they can create better connection with others.
Fake authenticity doesn’t care about offending others- it can be an excuse to express opinions or feelings with any choice of language, regardless of time or place or audience. Real authenticity speaks the truth with compassion. It considers how words will impact listeners’ emotions. It is kind and considerate, not just its opinions and declarations.
Fake authenticity wants to be heard, but not changed. Authenticity wants to learn and grow into a better version of themselves.
If we want the environment for authenticity, compassion is essential. Build up emotional fluency and emotional intelligence in teams and individuals.
Start with your self-awareness
How can you be yourself, unless you know yourself.
Self-awareness is a journey, the moment I think I have great self-awareness I realise something new, I am constantly learning new things about myself. To be really self-aware we need to start by letting go of the idea that we are fixed.
So explore, what is it to be you?
What is your own purpose, your mission in life, your direction?
• What are your values?
• What are your beliefs about yourself and others?
• Do you recognise your own voice, and the voice of others?
Only when you work on who you are can you really be who you are and who you are growing to become.
Learn more about, what comes from the essence of who they are, and what comes from the environment.
Be your best authentic self !
I work with 1-1 coaching clients, teams and organisations to help them to bring more humanity to work. Get in touch if you would like to grow your authenticity with me.