Updated: May 26, 2018
Transparent, Genuine, Real and True - Tips for creating authentic cultures in the workplace!
One of the most beautiful things about children is how transparent and real they are even in the most unpredictable situations. Each of us have a story where our little "Johnny" said something that was shocking but true.
Authenticity is that rare trait one develops where they learn how to live their lives true, real, genuine and transparent. I call this "living without the mask". As young children we are not born with masks and facades. Our nature was to be adventurous, playful, inquisitive and our goal was to just have fun. I remember my youngest, Parker, always asking a multitude of questions as he followed me throughout my day. "Daddy why is that like that? or Daddy who thought of that - that was a good idea!" My favorite time of every morning was when he would wait for me to come out of the bathroom dressed for my day just to say "Daddy I like your shirt. That is a nice tie you got on today!" The child was full of compliments and questions. Who couldn't love this kid!
Wouldn't it be a great day on our jobs and in our workplaces if we had such genuine, authentic, transparent and real interactions? What could happen in your organization if everyone genuinely began complimenting others more throughout the day or was transparent about resolving the challenges that the organization faces. How would these subtle moments of authenticity impact your business?
Without surprise, my little one - Parker, is always the first hugged in a group and everyone can not wait until he walks in the room. Why? He has a way of making others feel special, needed, valued and wanted. He's authentic and genuinely a great kid. (No you cannot hire him he is being groomed to take over!)
Let me share 4 Tips for living a more authentic life in the workplace:
#1. Be genuine - Selfish behaviors and self-absorbed perceptions are fear based defenses that create a "what's in it for me" culture; instead, of what's best for us. Genuinely care about others and how you impact their lives. Be "we" focused and help others succeed. Give the GIFT of generosity with genuine intentions and motivations. As you give generously don't be surprised when others begin to reciprocate those actions toward you - it's just part of the circle of loving and giving. Ask yourself, how can I compliment others today? What can be said to someone today to empower them with the confidence and self-esteem they need to make the difference?
#2. Be Transparent - It is very easy to get excited about sharing good news and celebrating when things are going well; but, how do you handle the bad news - when things are awful or need significant improvement? Are you transparent? Do you tackle those situations head on with an attitude - we are going to win and overcome this situation. Or do you avoid the discussion because the reality may be painful? Your attitude can mean everything. How do you share bad news vs. how you respond to good news? Purpose in your heart to be responsible with mistakes - own it, engage it and work with others to fix it. I always had a philosophy - "I'm going to tell on myself and offer a solution vs. allowing someone else to tell it and add their twist to the story!" Mistakes happen. Inevitably a month of poor results will happen. How are you handling those situations with purposeful transparency demonstrating your ability to resolve, problem solve and recover. Practice transparency and thrive free from fear based behaviors.
#3. Don't be fake - BE REAL! Everyone can smell a fake personality from a distance. Whether it is brown-nosing or the proverbial "protege wanna be", being real has greater value and presence than wearing masks and building fake personas. Remember fake can never deliver when the pressures of life and reality are applied - the mask will always fall off - somewhere and at sometime! Quit building images and start building relationships that are authentic. What does it mean to be real? Be you!!!! Be who you are and own it. Let your light shine. Don't be an echo when the world needs a voice! Embrace your unique self and run with it.
#4. Be true! Do not compromise your values and ethical practices. Commit yourself to developing the highest levels of integrity and honesty as part of your personal development goal. No job is worth you compromising honesty or entering into unethical practices that border on the line of "shady"! Character is that part of you that you will not compromise for no amount of money and no opportunity. Being honest, truthful and knowing how to share that perspective in a professional and meaningful way can create opportunities you could never imagine. I clearly remember asking an owner I was consulting about why she made the decision to hire our firm - the answer was very beneficial in my personal development - "Because you will be honest with me and tell me the truth!" Companies do not want "yes" people they want authentic people. Be true to yourself and develop the character that can cause you to stand out in the crowd. Skills, talents and abilities can open doors for you; but, authentic and genuine character can keep the doors open long-term. Never let opportunity take you where you character cannot keep you!
When was the last time your company or organization considered an "Authenticity Workshop" as part of your diversity or culture development plan? An authenticity workshop can help organizations and their employees define clear ways for establishing an authentic culture built upon genuine, real and true interactions that lead to building healthy relationships in the workplace.
by Timothy Osborn / Senior Business Consultant @ The Osborn Group, LLC
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