I’ve heard from several of you asking about “authenticity” and how you would know for sure that you were being authentic and other questions.
Let me provide an excerpt from my book All the Workplace is a Stage: Acting Techniques to Create Award-Winning Business Performance.
“As a business person, you know who you are. You know your title and your rank in the organization, but what would be a word that might describe you in a particular situation? It’s sometimes “powerful,” and another time it’s “accommodating,” and maybe another time, it’s “successful” or “profitable” or “triumphant.” Be conscious of how you want to be at any time in the day. Deliberately focus on that one word that describes you and with a little patience, you can immediately be that character.
I’m not suggesting that you be false or phony in any way; all these characteristics are really a part of who you are. You simply need to emphasize that particular characteristic at any particular moment. Just because you’re a C-suite executive doesn’t mean that you can’t be “compassionate,” and just because you’re an administrative assistant doesn’t mean that you can’t be “powerful.” There are times when each of these characters will need to be something that is not typical for them. It’s about knowing that you have these characteristics and can call upon them at any time.”
The important part here is “all these characteristics are really a part of who you are.” Being authentic is simply being YOU! Even though you may not be accustomed to that characteristic in you or you may not have let other people see that in you, it is still YOU. So, finding that characteristic within you and using it appropriately ensures that the “authenticity” will be there at any point in time.
The advantages are plentiful. Those you are communicating with will respond much better to authenticity than trying to determine whether you are sending a mixed message and how best to respond to it. You, on the other hand, will feel extremely fulfilled because you’ll be satisfying the person inside of you. I believe a lot of people today are not content, and it’s because they’re not being who they really are.
The very first exercise in the Powerful Performance Process that I suggest you do is to “people watch” – both from a distance and closeup. Do you sense the authenticity in these people or does something seem fake or phony? By recording what you see and hear and your perception of that will help you to improve your communication skills.
So, find the best YOU that you can be and watch the difference it can make!