Today we want to share with you the power of authenticity and how it can help you to not only be a better leader, but also feel more fulfilled by your work.
Through our workshops we meet so many women who struggle to allow their true selves to be seen in the workplace. There is a real fear of being excluded, judged, seeming weak or unprofessional, and ultimately, of being deemed incompetent in their role.
We get it, authenticity can be scary because it offers your true self up for criticism and disapproval. It feels safer to pretend to be perfect, blend into the crowd, or to make yourself as beige and uninteresting as possible so that no one can possibly dislike you.
Shying away from authenticity does not serve you
When you are not being authentic, people’s bullsh*t meter goes off. Humans have a knack for knowing when someone is not being real, and when they sense it they are less trusting and less inclined to be their authentic self, this ultimately blocks you from developing meaningful connections with them. Plus, it is exhausting to pretend to be something you are not!
Authenticity is the key to connection
There is a great deal of research confirming that leaders rooted in authenticity create enormous benefits for not only themselves, but for those they lead, and their organisation in general. Authenticity frees you to express yourself honestly, which in turn allows for meaningful connections with others. It builds trust, resolves conflicts and fosters more cohesive teams. Those who are more authentic at work experience greater job satisfaction, improved role performance, and increased work engagement, and teams with authentic leaders display greater loyalty, reliability and integrity.
How to increase your authenticity
The degree to which you feel comfortable showing your real self at work will be impacted by the levels of open communication and trust in your organisation, but we assure you that even small increases will have a positive impact. It can be as simple as choosing just one or two of the following actions:
- Speaking up in the meeting with your honest opinion
- Tweaking your outfit to express yourself more, such as with jewellery or shoes that you love (this acts as a great conversation-starter too!)
- Allowing your sense of humour to shine through
- Showing empathy to someone who is struggling at work
- Being vulnerable and admitting when you don’t know the answer
What different choices could you make to show up more authentically in your work? If nothing held you back, who would you be? We would love to hear from you.
The Inkling Women team xx