Embracing authenticity is necessary for creating anything extraordinary because it allows individuals to be genuine and bring their unique perspectives and skills to the table. When your authentic self is valued, you are more likely to be engaged, motivated, and committed to achieving your goals.
Authenticity also helps to build trust and credibility, both of which are essential for driving inspired ideas. When people see that you are genuine and honest in your words and actions, they are more likely to believe in your vision and support your efforts. This can be particularly important when trying to achieve something that may seem impossible or highly ambitious. It can be challenging to inspire and motivate others without a strong foundation of trust.
In addition, embracing authenticity can help individuals tap into their inner strength and resilience, which are crucial for driving inspired ideas. When people are true to themselves and their values, they are more likely to withstand the challenges and setbacks that inevitably arise when trying to achieve something complex or unprecedented. This can help them to stay focused, motivated, and committed to their goals, even when the going gets tough.
Many experts have written about the importance of authenticity in achieving personal and professional goals. Some notable figures who have addressed this topic include:
- Brené Brown, a research professor and author who has written extensively about vulnerability, courage, and authenticity
- Simon Sinek, a leadership expert and author who has written about the importance of authenticity in building trust and inspiring others
- Marcus Buckingham, a leadership expert and author who has written about the importance of focusing on strengths and authenticity to achieve success
There are several ways to encourage and lead people to be their authentic selves at work:
- Communicate openly and transparently: Model being open and transparent in your communication to assist people in feeling safe and supported in expressing their true thoughts and feelings.
- Encourage shared thoughts and ideas: Creating a culture of open dialogue and collaboration allows people to share their perspectives and experiences without fear of judgment or reprisal.
- Provide opportunities for self-reflection and personal development: Encouraging times of reflection on values, goals, and strengths can help fully identify and express authentic selves.
- Recognize and reward authenticity: When people feel that their authentic selves are valued and appreciated, they are more likely to be engaged, motivated, and committed to their work.
By creating an environment that values authenticity, leaders can help to foster a sense of openness, trust, and engagement among their team members.
Here are a few key signs that can indicate whether your teammates are their authentic selves at work:
- They express their opinions and thoughts freely: Authentic people feel safe and supported in expressing their true thoughts and feelings and are likelier to be authentic in their communication.
- They are comfortable being vulnerable: Authenticity often requires vulnerability, as it involves sharing who we are and what we believe in. Teammates who are comfortable being vulnerable and open about their challenges and weaknesses are likely to express their authentic selves.
- They are consistent in their words and actions: Authentic people tend to be consistent in their words and actions, as they are genuine and true to themselves. If your teammates are consistently aligned in what they say and do, it may be a sign that they are being authentic.
- They are open to feedback and self-reflection: Authentic people tend to be open to feedback and self-reflection, as they are committed to personal and professional growth.
- They are comfortable being themselves: Authentic people are comfortable being themselves rather than trying to fit into a specific mold or conform to expectations.
It is important to note that being authentic does not necessarily mean that people will always be positive or upbeat. Authenticity allows people to express their true thoughts and feelings, even if they may be negative or challenging. The key is that they are genuine and true to themselves.
Suppose a person’s authentic self begins to harm the team or project progress. In that case, the leader must address the issue constructively and respectfully.
Here are some steps that a leader might take:
- Talk to the person privately: It is essential to have a private conversation with the person to discuss the issue and allow them to express their thoughts and feelings.
- Clearly explain the impact of their behavior: During the conversation, it is essential to clearly explain how their behavior affects the team or project progress and provide specific examples.
- Offer support and resources: When behavior is harmful due to personal or professional challenges, it may be helpful to help them address these issues.
- Set clear expectations and boundaries: It is vital to set clear expectations and boundaries for behavior within the team or project and to communicate these expectations to the person in question.
- Follow up and provide ongoing support: It is important to follow up with the person regularly to check in on their progress and to provide ongoing support as needed.
When leaders take a compassionate and supportive approach to help individuals address harmful aspects encountered by someone on a project, they foster a culture of respect and open communication within the team.
This content reflects the personal opinions of the author. It is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and should not be substituted for impartial fact or advice in legal, political, or personal matters.
© 2022 Karen Chenoa Sergent