Chris Cancialosi, contributor of Forbes.com, posted an article about six authentic leadership tips for overcoming your fears. He teamed up with peers, to deeply examine this topic: authentic leadership.
He starts with a direct question to the reader, assuming he is a leader: “do you lead authentically? If you’re not sure, you’re not alone.” He states that many leaders are beginning to question themselves, especially when tough situations force them to act in ways that don’t align with their true beliefs. When they must juggle different personas across different settings and boundaries, they can start to feel deceptive.
Chris states that the key components of authenticity (self-knowledge, self-awareness, authentic behavior, and self-regulation) mean you have to know who you are historically, be aware of who you are in the moment, align your behavior with your values, and know when and why you deviate from those values. He also writes that we all like to think that our true self is behind every action, but many leaders don’t do a great job of leading authentically — mostly because practising authenticity is easier said than done.
Key take away on authentic leadership
Chris sets a key note that we have to first understand why authenticity is so difficult to maintain in the workplace before we can get into how to be an authentic leader. He states it takes some rock-solid confidence to be able to stick to your guns when they aren’t readily accepted. No one wants to be viewed as “different,” but failing to act authentically has a pretty big downside, too. These are the six strategies he formulated in order to improve personal authentic leadership:
Find a peer with whom you can be fully authentic
Compare your authentic interactions with someone you as a leader comfortable with to your inauthentic interactions with others. Once you can identify the differences between the two, it will be easier to close that gap.
Seek out exemplary leaders in your industry who model authenticity
Chris states that having an authentic role model in leadership is useful because you can observe how he or she behaves genuinely, then you can incorporate those strategies into your own leadership skills.
Take authenticity to a new level by encouraging others to be real
Create a safe environment for others to have a voice. Let employees know you as leader value their opinions and demonstrate unconditional acceptance.
Don’t let “being authentic” become a cop-out for individual and professional growth
Always reflect on your behavior as leader in high-pressure situations, and ensure your response was reflective of your highest values.
Learn to speak your truth in a positive way
When you’re facing a difference in values, be diplomatic and concise and strip any frustrated emotion out of your voice.
Accept that 100 percent authenticity isn’t the goal
Chris states that total and complete transparency doesn’t always ensure success. In fact, boundaries often help people feel safe. Build your self-awareness around when and why you’re disingenuous so you can recognize these situations.
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