The Art of being authentic: The importance of being yourself in the workplace.
In today’s workplace, authenticity is more important than ever. When employees feel comfortable being their true selves, they are more likely to be engaged, productive, and creative. Companies want to get the best out of their employees even when they are not in the workplace. The effect of new ways of working since the Covid pandemic through online meetings and remote working means it is sometimes harder to build deeper authentic relationships with our colleagues.
What is authenticity in the workplace?
Authenticity at work means being true to yourself, your values, and your beliefs. It means being honest and transparent, even when it’s difficult. It also means being willing to share your strengths and weaknesses, your successes and failures. Being authentic leads to a greater freedom to be creative and innovate with our ideas.
Why is authenticity important in the workplace?
There are many reasons why authenticity is important in the workplace. Here are just a few:
- It leads to greater engagement. When employees feel like they can be themselves at work, they are more likely to be engaged in their work and in their teams.
- It improves productivity. When employees are engaged, they are more productive. They are also more likely to come up with creative solutions to problems.
- It builds trust. When employees are authentic, they build trust with their colleagues and managers. This trust is essential for a positive and productive work environment.
- It attracts and retains top talent. In today’s competitive job market, top talent is looking for workplaces where they can be themselves. When companies embrace authenticity, they are more likely to attract and retain the best people.
How can I be more authentic in the workplace?
If you want to be more authentic in the workplace, there are a few things you can do:
- Be honest with yourself about who you are and what you believe. This is the foundation of authenticity.
- Be open and transparent with your colleagues and managers. Don’t be afraid to share your thoughts, feelings, and ideas.
- Be willing to share your strengths and weaknesses. This shows that you are confident and secure in who you are.
- Be yourself, even when it’s difficult. It’s not always easy to be authentic, but it’s worth it in the long run.
This short interesting article also suggests some ways of analysing how authentic you currently are.
Is it safe to be truly authentic at work?
There is an argument that it might not always be the best policy to be truly authentic as this might inhibit your chances of promotion, or alienate you from other work colleagues who don’t agree with your views.
I was listening to a thought-provoking Podcast that explains some of the challenges and injustices facing Women of colour in corporate America. This highlights the reality that there is often unspoken bias and most companies do not function like a meritocracy. Certain groups may find it easier to progress and others may find they need to work 2-4 times harder to get the same promotion and pay.
Being authentic in the workplace is not always easy, but it is worth it. When you are authentic, you are more likely to be engaged, productive, and creative. You are also more likely to build trust with your colleagues and managers, and attract and retain top talent. So if you want to be successful in your career, start by being yourself.
Here are some additional tips for being authentic in the workplace:
- Be mindful of your body language and tone of voice. These can often communicate more than your words.
- Be aware of your own biases and blind spots. This will help you to be more open-minded and accepting of others.
- Be willing to learn and grow. The world is constantly changing, so it’s important to be open to new ideas and experiences.
Being authentic is a journey, not a destination. It takes time and effort to be truly authentic in the workplace. But it is a journey that is worth taking.