How To Be More Authentic At Work

Apr 15, 2021

We do tend to complicate the process of being more authentic at work, so here is my straightforward take:

  1. Identify your Core Values
  2. Live your life everyday according to your Core Values.

 No need to overthink it.

What is Authenticity?

Authenticity is the quality of being real or true. (Cambridge Dictionary)

When we see someone acting authentically it appears, and feels, genuine. When we act with authenticity it feels, and appears, honest.

It will take some time to identify your Core Values, but, once you have them, you can simply score yourself out of ten in terms of your effectiveness when it comes to aligning your behaviours and actions to those Core Values.

The Benefits of Authenticity in Work

The benefits of acting this way at work are surprisingly far-reaching:

  • Your reputation will be enhanced as you will be more decisive, more clear and more consistent in your actions.
  • Your interactions with other will be simplified as your intentions will be more clear and their expectations will be managed.
  • Your confidence will be boosted and your stress levels reduced as you feel more empowered to be more you! 

So far, so good. In theory, I'm sure this all makes complete sense.

For more on the  Authenticity and it's power in the Workplace, take a look at this week's video:

The Challenge of Being Authenticity at Work

The biggest complaint people have when they contemplate asserting their Core Values at Work is a fear of upsetting others. In fact, this extends out to all areas of life and can be a major stumbling block for anyone on the path of personal growth.

When we seek enlightenment, it is easy to forget that our outcomes are merely our personal perspective. In the case of our Core Values, they will be based on our own life experiences, our interpretation of the what has happened and even our individual personality.

Back to the main concern of fearing causing upset to others. This only becomes a significant issue if we mix up honesty and truth.

As our Core Values are personal, it is "valuable" to avoid trading in absolutes when we engage with others. The phrase "Brutal Honesty" emerges when we speak to others in an uncensored way. When we act without compassion, we run a significant risk of upsetting others. Brutal honesty is shared with no concern for anything other than our desire to speak honestly.

Speak Your Truth

The alternative to brutal honesty is to Speak Your Truth. When we speak our truth we acknowledge it is nothing more than our perspective. This approach ensures we create a gap in our conversations to let other elements pour in, such as;

  • Tact - by presenting our perspective we are acknowledging other perspectives exist. Through our persuasion we may help others reflect on the validity of their own thoughts.
  • Kindness - none of us is perfect. We're all on a journey that is constantly shaped by those around us. Treat a new perspective gently and give it space to form. You will be remembered as someone who shared wisdom rather than dispensed edicts.
  • Empathy - seeking to understand how someone else feels and thinks about something is invaluable. It recognises them as a fellow human being dealing with the same complexities as you.

If you are tasked with leading a group of people and sometimes struggle to hit the right note with them, check out the TCM Community. We call it continuous personal development for the professional. Come and see why.

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