Contrary to popular opinion, authenticity is a skill we can develop.
By building self-awareness, exploring the reasoning behind our emotions and actions, working with valuable feedback, and studying the environment we find ourselves in, we can learn to use efficient and honest self-disclosure to our advantage, both at home and in the office.
We’ve collected 3 long-term strategies to explore if you’re looking to bring more of the real you to work, in an efficient and balanced manner.
#1. Journal. Authenticity begins with self-awareness.
To live an authentic life, it is important to make a habit of listening to your inner voice. Be in tune with how you feel. Know who you are, where you come from, where you’re going, and what you believe in.
When our instincts and intellect are in harmony, we live an authentic life.
Our instincts are the innate knowledge that has been gifted to us from generation to generation. Make good use of the intelligence contained in your natural drivers – harness your instinctive knowledge by using the intellect.
You can start your journaling practice with the questions below and, if you’re looking to start a more consistent (sustainable) practice, take a look at these weekly exercises for self-awareness.
- What challenges me at work at this very moment?
- What is my first/natural response to this challenge?
- How is my response connected to similar experiences in the past or my values?
#2. Seek feedback and follow-it up with coaching (or developmental training programs)
Part of the getting-to-know-yourself process (but also learning about the best moment to put self-disclosure to good use) is working with feedback.
Seek it actively, from your co-workers as well as from the management. It can help you acknowledge what stories are the most appropriate to share and when.
At EI Romania we offer a quick yet efficient solution for individuals looking to be more conscious of their context, emotions, and decisions.
As part of our Instant EI program, you will get hands-on feedback regarding your emotional intelligence behaviors in action, so that you stay authentic in an efficient manner.
#3. Know what to reveal and when. Look into organizational and cultural contexts
Think about the time and place you are in: not considering these when expressing your feelings can result in withdrawal or defensive behavior in others.
Rely on your instincts to know when to reveal something personal, but also beware of the cultural and organizational context you find yourself in (showing weakness in certain cultures can underscore a human being’s authenticity, whereas in others – challenge respect).
Professors Rosh and Offermann explore different norms about sharing in this HBR article, pointing out the moments when it is better to keep quiet.
We do our best work when we’re free to be ourselves. So bring the whole of you to the office.
Acknowledge what you’re feeling and manifest it, but at the right time and with the right people.