Now, more than ever, business people are beginning to see the value of
honesty and authenticity in the people they employ and do business with. While
it’s tempting to ask ‘how can I fake sincerity’, it’s worth thinking about how
you can genuinely be the real deal.
So spend time alone with yourself and get to know your likes and dislikes.
Pit yourself new challenges to see where your strengths and weaknesses lie. Be
open to new experiences that show you what your preferences might be. Understand
and be honest with yourself about what your motives are.
Understand what’s important to you. What do you pride yourself on? What do
you want to be known for – tolerance, dependability, precision, kindness,
toughness? What are your priorities – efficiency, inclusion, creativity,
thoroughness? Who and what do you feel connected to – your family, your company,
your team? What pleases, excites, angers and energises you?
Knowing what’s important to you makes knowing what to commit to easier. While
there will always be things you have to do rather than want to do, knowing where
your values lay tells you what to focus your energy on and what to dispatch as
quickly and efficiently as possible so you can get on with your real work.
Be aware that in most situations you have choices. Be purposeful about what
you choose based on your knowledge and values. Do you know yourself well enough
to trust your gut feeling? If you can’t trust yourself, why should anyone else?
Do your best to be your ‘best self’ but accept that nobody’s perfect.
Recognise your mistakes, know your limitations and acknowledge your dark side.
Accepting yourself, warts and all, makes it easier to be tolerant of others’
Knowing and accepting yourself is a great foundation for dealing
authentically with others. Add a sprinkling of tact and diplomacy for those
occasions when the real you might clash with others, a dash of courage for the
times when the real you might face rejection, and a shot of strength and
determination for those situations when it would be easier to simply follow the
It’s not easy being authentic, but the rewards could be an enhanced sense of
self-worth, increased confidence, deeper and more satisfying relationships,
greater integrity, and reinforced mental and emotional strength.
Lynn Williams is a career coach and author.
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