In a work world full of stressors such as politics, interruptions, career ambiguity, and a lack of control over decisions you have to make, being your authentic self goes a long way. As you encounter challenges in the workplace, I encourage you to ‘show up you.’ This means putting your best, authentic self forward no matter what the circumstance is.
Why is authenticity important in the workplace?
When leaders model authenticity, they help create a culture that produces high quality results by developing confident and motivated employees. If employees can trust that their leader is showing his or her true personality, those employees are more likely to display similar behavior. Not only that, but when leaders model authenticity, hidden agendas and unspoken tactics tend to diminish.
Often times, employees hide their true feelings at work in order to fit in with management style, upper leadership’s goals, and rewarded behavior. As humans, when we’re forced to fit in and conform, we tend to let go of our best assets and talents. Being authentic means we value ourselves for who we truly are, and we share our talents with others.
Take problem solving for example: when we put our efforts towards being authentic, our energy is focused on how to solve a problem, rather than our energy being spent on how we think we should solve the problem in order to please those around us.
What are some common characteristics of an authentic person?
They know who and what they are. An authentic person uses self-reflection to focus on their own success and well-being. They don’t waste their time worrying about other peoples’ status. How can you truly know who you are and what you stand for if you’re busy trying to fit in with everyone else?
They display confidence in themselves and their team members. Leading with authenticity requires you to dig deep. An authentic person looks past money and position, and finds courage in leading by putting their values first. They support their team members by listening, encouraging, and giving credit where credit is due.
They are open and transparent. Open communication is a major piece of authenticity. An authentic person is able to communicate openly, honestly, and consistently with others. As an authentic person, you don’t leave those around you hurting or guessing, because you’ve been transparent with them all along.
Here are my challenges for you to become your most authentic self:
Leave the judgments behind. This goes for any judgments made against yourself or others. Quit doing it.
Stop trying to be a people pleaser. You have nothing to gain from trying to make everyone happy. It’s a battle you will never win. Do what is best for yourself and your team, and others will begin to respect and appreciate your character.
Collaborate rather than compete with others. Understand there is enough time and resources to go around. There’s no need to bring others down in order to move yourself forward. Get creative and work with others to share resources. You’ll likely gain fresh insight and new ideas.
Recognize you are enough and you deserve respect. Don’t let others bring you down. You are enough, and you have enough within you. You deserve to be in the room, and what you have to say is important. Don’t let others make you feel differently.
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Whitney Ohmer is a Talent and Organizational Development consultant for the Corporate Talent Institute. To learn more about her organization, visit www.corporatetalentinstitute.com