How Do You Define Authenticity?

Posted by Andrea Hopke on Mon, Jul 21, 2014

Genuine. Truthful. Real. Essential. Engaged with what matters to you. And brave enough to share it.

cc authenticity 001Here's what we're hearing in our workshops, training programs and in one-on-one coaching: there's a yearning for authenticity and a sense that it is very hard to come by in business settings. And, it's not authenticity in a vacuum - people aren't saying, just let me be me no matter what. It's more of a question of: How can we, together, create something that matters, that encourages each of us to contribute in a meaningful way? 

We see a deep desire in our clients for creating work relationships and office environments that encourage creative collaboration while appreciating individual strengths. Work environments that acknowledge how we are different and invite those diverse perspectives to contribute to the search for solutions. It is definitely about results…achieved together.

And it's not limited to the youngest generation to enter the workforce, the Millenials. We hear this echo across generations, across ethnic and social backgrounds, across industries and leadership levels.

It's a hum that's getting louder.

Quite a few people are turning up the volume on the conversation. Check out Becky's blog about THRIVE, the recent book by Aryanna Huffington. Then there's Tony Schwartz with his brilliant insights about physical, mental, emotional, spiritual energy and the bottom line: The Way We're Working Isn't Working.leadership_development

On the local Atlanta scene, one person we recently met, Gareth Young, has launched a blog and podcast focusing exclusively on the topic of authenticity and the creation of a new business mindset. Along with his cohost, Todd Schnick, Gareth interviews a vast array of people you've never heard of who are changing the conversation and the practice of business as we speak. Gareth is an entrepreneur and community activist with a keen interest in authenticity: what it is, how it shows up in our lives, how it informs the way we build our businesses, how we interact in our communities, and effect change in our societies.

In our own back yard, at a recent Bigger Game program we facilitated, one woman shared her desire to shift her sales team's drive-for-results energy from competition to collaboration. She's just the person for it, although she truly does not consider herself a change agent. Yet she has a creative curiosity driving her desire for new ways of interacting and supporting one another. Extremely self-aware, she understands her own propensity to wax eloquently about concepts and possibilities (her authentic self), yet her audience (boss, peers) lean toward the comfort zone of left brain logic. So she is in the midst of inventing ways to invite them into conversations about new ideas, ways that build safety and trust, while opening a door to what else might be possible. 

If you haven't seen this Xbox, "Life is Short" ad … take 51 seconds as a reminder. 

develop extraordinary leaders

Topics: definition of leadership, building trust, improve workplace relationships

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