The Value of Authenticity
Authenticity doesn’t mean sharing everything about yourself, to everyone, all of the time. It does mean saying what you mean, meaning what you say, and sticking to your values and principles above all else.
At the core, authenticity is a form of genuineness.
To describe something or someone as authentic is to stamp them with a seal of approval for being real, not false or copied or being anything other than their genuine form. For instance, an authentic document is verified, deemed trustworthy and can be absolutely relied upon as truth. An authentic deed is one executed with all due formalities. In terms of being your most authentic self and how this supports strong leadership is to be your true self. Meaning representing one’s true beliefs in everything that you do.
One of the greatest ways to positively impact the emotions of others is to help them. And not with manipulative motives or for self-gain but to genuinely be there. Actions like these build trust and inspire others to follow your lead. Hence, a person who is completely trustworthy is also deemed to be authentic.
Being authentic requires a certain amount of transparency and openness of sharing our inner self, irrespective of the consequences.
Manipulating one’s personality and communication to either seek approval or to avoid disapproval in the short-term makes life more comfortable, reliable and generally easier. However, this is the easiest way to masking truth and to silence your authentic self. This personality trait is commonplace especially in the workplace, especially lower down the power hierarchy. It is far removed from authenticity.
There seems to be an inverse correlation between one’s sensitivity to what other’s think of them and the ability to be authentic. This reason alone is why being authentic is a hard trait to achieve especially for those wanting career progression.
Being true to your authentic self is the first hurdle to success. It requires a level of confidence to open up, expose vulnerability and stand by your opinions. When people communicate their vulnerabilities and their inner most feelings, others actually tend to listen, and validation becomes a possibility.
Beyond this, being a people pleaser or avoiding confrontation betrays your authentic self, as you submerge yourself in deference to others. It takes a strong person to stand by their believe systems, to challenge the status quo and to navigate the workplace without cowering to more dominant individuals. Genuine self-esteem requires avoiding self-betrayal.
This is not to say you should behave as a fractious, petulant individual.
But you just shouldn’t undermine yourself, especially not for the benefit of someone else.
Being a great leader is too embrace all that makes you, you. Celebrate your uniqueness and also push to develop yourself as a person. Being authentic makes everyday life much easier whether it be getting employed, gaining that promotion or simply having a conversation.
The hardest part to authenticity is that it’s a mindset; it isn’t something that can be easily taught. Those pushing for authenticity gets them further away from it. It is a natural occurrence from investing time in developing yourself as a person – which is invaluable.
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