When you are authentic, according to author Katherine Halpin, you know what your values are. You know your standards and expectations. Because you know what your needs are, you know what works for you and what does not work for you.
You can then align your life, your lifestyle, and your career with this awareness of your core values. Once you have the awareness to articulate to yourself who you truly are and what truly matters to you, you can prepare for honest conversations with your colleagues. Authenticity lays the foundation for these conversations that will bring your entire organization into alignment around a common vision and shared values.
However, when we begin authentic conversations with our teams, we venture into emotional territory that may be scary for us at first. After all, complete authenticity requires us to be vulnerable. We must be willing to share openly and honestly about our strengths as well as our challenges and shortcomings.
When we are authentic and honest, our decisions are based on facts. When we take into account everyone’s unique perspective, we discover potential unintended consequences of the decisions we face. Because everyone on the team has a chance to be heard, they feel commitment to the resulting decision.
So if you are authentic and maintain a sense of gratitude you can create a culture of high performance where everyone feels safe to say everything. You will consistently find that people are motivated by success and when they have a voice in decisions and understand their role in achieving the vision, when honest communication has assured them of the resources they need to succeed, and when they have collaborated to build the structures they need to succeed, Halpin believes (and so do I) that your team will move heaven and earth on a daily basis to make success happen.