The Importance of Authenticity in the Workplace
The Importance of Authenticity in the Workplace
Every employee wants to establish a solid reputation at work. A good reputation in the workplace can open doors to new career advancement opportunities as well as the obvious importance of getting on well with co-workers. Often employees get so obsessed with the idea of projecting the perfect image of themselves that they overlook the importance of being their authentic self at work. It’s not always easy for people to bring their authentic self to work. The fear of being judged at the workplace and the desire to fit in often prevents people from being their true self. There are more benefits of being true to your words, your values and core beliefs that are inherent to your work than you could imagine. Employees and management often gravitate toward people who display authentic behaviour in the workplace and here we explain the positive results of such behaviour:
People who want to project a fake image at work are always conscious about their mask falling off. People who keep it real at work, on the other hand, never have to wear a mask; they are confident in their opinions and the work they deliver. They are true to their values and core beliefs and not concerned about protecting a fake image. The confidence that comes from being your true self at work holds the key to true happiness and satisfaction.
Helps build relationships
Authentic employees are trusted by both other employees and clients. When you are being your true self at work, you display a sense of honesty and trustworthiness. Your co-workers and customers will consider you a genuine person, encouraging people to open up to you and helping you forge successful long-term relationships.
Helps you excel as a leader
Whether you are already in a leadership position or are aspiring to be one, you need to bring your authentic self to work. Employees gravitate towards an authentic, confident, passionate and trustworthy leader. Such leaders are respected by one and all. They give off positive energy to their peers and team members. An authentic leader boasts a level of gravitas, inspiring their team to follow their lead. To be your authentic self, move to a culture of accountability. Instead of telling your people what and how to do, inspire them to specific results
It promotes well-being
A research found a positive correlation between authenticity in the workplace and job satisfaction, performance and engagement. The study involved more than 51 studies. Around 36,000 corporates were interviewed. When researchers finally tallied their observations they found that authenticity was related with high levels of well-being and employee engagement. Researchers observed that the impact of authenticity does not depend on age, meaning that a young employee is no more likely to value authenticity at work than a middle-aged or an old employee. The finding shatters the myth that finding and settling in an environment that allows them to express themselves matters more to millennials than older generations. The study noted that while there can be numerous barriers to authentic behaviour, striving for authenticity is a worthwhile goal.
Authenticity can bring out the best in you
Often employees avoid discussing with their co-workers or the management how they feel about certain things. The fear that their opinions will not be well received prevents them from expressing themselves. This inhibition often holds people back. To be authentic, you need to overcome this fear. If you are a positive person who always looks at the bright side of things, be your true self by trying to uplift the morale of your team after a setback, rather than holding yourself back. Discuss projects that you are passionate about with your peers and managers. When asked to comment on the viability of a future project or how a current project is shaping up, speak your mind without being too critical. Your observations can open up a whole new perspective and give your team and manager enough reasons to reconsider their stance.
Tips for embracing authenticity:
Admit your mistakes and weaknesses
No one is perfect. Continuous improvement is the name of the game. Accepting and correcting your mistakes makes you look stronger. Ask your colleagues and manager for honest feedback. Ask them areas that you need to work on. Analyse your weak zones and work hard on them. Working on your weaknesses and accepting and rectifying your mistakes in a timely fashion and not running from them will get you one step closer to becoming the best version of yourself.
Inculcate a positive attitude
You need to understand that things will not always go your way. Instead of ruing lost opportunities or worrying about things you can’t control, develop a positive attitude. Avoid small talk and gossip as it can hurt your credibility. Avoid speaking ill of others as this may hinder their trust upon you. Do not make stories or spread rumours about others. Negative thoughts, comments, and vibes can badly affect your workplace and demotivate people around you.
Keep check on what you say
Wrong words can portray a negative image While many co-workers will appreciate you for lending an ear when they’re going through a rough patch, give advice only when you are asked for it. Though you must try to get people around you to open up, be mindful of personal boundaries. Instead of trying to be too pushy, use comforting words to reassure a colleague dealing with a personal issue that they are not alone and things will get better.
To become the leader that everyone looks up to, you need to take challenges head on. This, however, does not mean that you should get into every situation without thinking about the end result. To portray an over authentic image, many managers rush into decisions. Avoid this pitfall at all costs. Be receptive to (even negative) feedback. Instead of trying to cover up or shifting the blame for a mistake onto a team member, own up to your mistake and apologise to your team.
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