When I was nineteen an older coworker said to me, ‘Be true to yourself.’ I had no idea what she was talking about. The older I got the more authentic I became and life got a lot easier.
What can you do to practice authenticity in your life?
1. You talk comfortably about failure.
There’s a way that you communicate where we’re all feel like we can move forward in a project. If something doesn’t work, then let’s find out why. You’re more like Sherlock and keep asking, “what does that mean?” You invite feedback and continuous improvement is not just procedural it’s culturally ingrained.
2. You say, “I hadn’t thought of that.”
So I think we could have a petting zoo every Wednesday so the staff can relax. This is easy to argue with as a manager. You say “I hadn’t thought of that” and realise this is a clinical indicator that your staff need a break. You didn’t dismiss the idea and got a new idea to fix things. Praise others for their contribution.
3. You speak tough truths comfortably.
The truth is one of your workers is no longer performing in a way that suits the company’s strategic plan. You’ve asked them to come along and they’ve been given lots of opportunities. To stay authentic, you appeal to the best fit approach for the worker and the company. Empathize without compromise.
4. You share what you’re learning.
Authenticity is exploring-with rather than making conclusions for everyone. What you learn, you share and you gain. Know and acknowledge your own weaknesses and find the best fit to share your strengths.
5. You ask simple questions.
Authenticity is asking questions that we can forget to ask. Asking “How do we know that to be true?” can make a big difference in planning and strategy. Be the person in the room who keeps asking the questions everyone else is dying to ask.