Welcome to Week 4 of the Authenticity@Work Series. My intention for this series is to share a quick tool each week to help you lead with more authenticity, adaptability and inspiration so we can together create workplaces where we bring the best of ourselves and inspire others.
In last week’s post we discussed what authentic leadership is. Did you feel into what life would be like as a fully expressed authentic leader?
Do you have the personal power and influence to make the impact you desire? In our flattening hierarchies, it is more important than ever to be able to influence others who don’t report to us. Studies show that productivity, revenue, and profits are linked to the level of trust in the organization. Trust is the key factor in how well people work together, listen to each other, and build effective relationships.
I believe trust can only be built when we are practicing authenticity. Authenticity helps us build the deeper connections with others that create trust. Stop and think of the last interaction you had with someone where you let your guard down. Can you recall that feeling now? How is your body responding now as you recall that moment? As I recall that, my shoulders drop, I feel more relaxed, and I breathe from a deeper place.
Research quoted in the book Love 2.0 by Dr. Barbara Fredrickson shows that our capacity for experiencing connection is linked with our health and longevity. Authentic connections with others build the health of our vagus nerve, the main nerve that originates at the stem of the brain and travels through the chest, connecting the brain to the lungs, digestive tract, and most notably, the heart.
How do we build these authentic connections? We let our guards down. We step into our authentic selves to seek to see the human being behind the labels we attach to ourselves and others. Being with others in this way eight to ten hours a day is good for our health, perhaps even more than the company gym or health care plan (yes, that’s the peace-and-love hippie in me talking).
This Week’s Tool:
Questions to ask yourself:
- Who is the most authentic leader I have encountered in my career? What impact did their authenticity have on me? What did he or she do that demonstrated authenticity? How did he or she bring out the best in me?
- This week how can I be more in my authentic self and practice building authentic connections with others?