Authenticity is about how you feel in this moment of your life and what you’ll do to honour that identity.
“Being yourself” at work while “being taken seriously” is easier said than done. This is especially true when you’re just starting out, or when you’re seasoned but new to an organization. If this is the case for you, don’t feel pressured by the things you read online about “why first impressions matter,” or why you have “90 days” to establish your entire reputation. Authenticity is more about how you feel in this moment of your life, and what you’ll do to honor that identity. Here’s what you can do to get more comfortable showing up authentically with your colleagues right now:
- Convince yourself that you belong at the table. Take the time to create a thoughtful list of how and why you belong. Start paying attention to what makes you you — your background, talents, beliefs, and values. These are your strengths, and they will set you apart if you’re willing to share them.
- Take the time you need to find your voice and be vulnerable. Before sharing something more personal or higher stakes with a coworker, consider the intention behind your words. Taking a moment to reflect before sharing will help you see the outcomes you want and avoid opening up to people who make you feel uncomfortable or underappreciate your vulnerability.
- Set boundaries to avoid oversharing. There is a certain time, place, and audience required for you to safely share the vulnerable parts of yourself. Boundaries are healthy — you can be yourself” at work even if you don’t publicly disclose every single thought or emotion to your team members.
- Practice deep listening. When you listen deeply, you allow yourself to be silent. Silence allows you to declutter your thought process, be present, reflect, and make an honest contribution to whatever is being discussed
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