George just started his new job at his new company. It was an exciting day and he was pleased to be introduced to all the people in his department. His manager led the onboarding providing information about the organization, how he would fit into it and of course the necessary paperwork to get him on the payroll.
In three-months he became a permanent employee. He liked his work! There were some unwritten rules he was learning because this organization was more formal than his last. In his last place he could wear cut-offs and muscle shirts and flip flops or sandals to work. Not so here.
In his last job he was able to be himself – to be authentic. Here he’s had to change some of his ways. What he was learning from his manager is authenticity isn’t about how he dresses, it’s how he behaves. And he knows this comes from the beliefs he lives by.
George found he could conform to the corporate dress code and still be himself by choosing the brightly coloured shirts and socks (yes, he even began wearing socks because they could be such fun in their design and colours).
The key areas to help you be your authentic self:
Self Aware – by thinking about how you can add value to the lives of others and recognizing how your actions affect others, you are being authentic because, you will then “walk your talk.” It’s not good enough to just think, it is important to act based on caring about others.
Open to Learning – we all make mistakes, yet an authentic individual will choose to learn from those mistakes and attempt to not make those mistakes again. Imagine the feeling of helping others with something you have learned from.
Be Kind – there are often 2 (or even more) ways to approach a subject. Always choose the one that is kind and shows respect to the other person, even when you don’t agree!
Be Attentive – listen to what others are saying rather than be distracted by your cell phone, the TV or even your thoughts. When someone is speaking, pay attention to what they are saying so you can have a meaningful conversation.
Be Fair – not everyone thinks like you, nor do they need to. It’s easy to say don’t judge others as you do not know what has precipitated their beliefs or their actions, however, it is often hard to do. Stop, think and then make decisions about how you feel about someone’s comments or actions by asking deeper questions so you have a better understanding of their meaning.
George, found he could still be true to his authentic self because the new organization he worked for was itself authentic. The management team cared about the staff and helped each employee be the best he or she could be. Needless to say, when we are all authentic, everyone wins!
The weatherman (should that be person?) is calling for a hot summer on the prairies! Wild fires have already wiped out huge amounts of forests and homes. Droughts have decimated this part of the world in the past and it may happen again. It makes me wonder about being prepared.
How are we prepared – yes for fire and drought. Yet, more importantly how are we prepared to live? What values do we live by, what ethics do we follow and what is the effect of these on how we choose to live our lives.
Would love to hear your response to this as it is something I think about more and more often. Not from a perspective of right or wrong – just merely what is it that we choose to be our guiding light in living.
Just email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.