In this week’s podcast, we take a deeper dive into authenticity. We aren’t just talking about not lying either. Granted, in a survey conducted in 2013, only 18% of people surveyed reported that they trusted business to tell the truth. Nevertheless, when we talk about authenticity we mean first and foremost that our inner experience is matching our outer experience. The three basic perspectives on authenticity is first being true to yourself, maintaining strict coherence between what you feel, say and do and making value based choices. That sounds easy enough right? But, if it was, then why so much talk about authenticity? Well, at work, some cultures promote and foster authenticity and others don’t. Although it seems like a good idea, being aware of this is a critical distinction. But here is another wrinkle. Seeing ourselves with an unwavering sense of self can really cause us to struggle when we need to take on new roles and learn new ways of doing things.
The truth is, authenticity is a gateway that allows you to bring in greater levels of perspectives, opens your creativity and invites collaboration. It is difficult to have this level of collaboration though if you feel that you need to walk around like you know everything. And, when need to use different leadership styles at different times, we can really feel stuck or like an “imposter”. This is really because we are afraid of being in the unknown.The big thing to notice here though is that we are learning! When we are learning, we definitely feel like we don’t completely know what we are doing. Align this with our preconceived ideas of who we are in a specific role and we’ve got the perfect storm for losing ourselves during the learning cycle. The good news is that we can open ourselves up to learning new things and being creative versus feeling like we are finished and that we can’t change. So, authenticity just might be somewhat relative and it is important for us to recognize this. It isn’t about us being inauthentic. It is about us learning.