Let’s Talk: Authenticity In Action by Cindy Stradling CSL, CPC

Most people have heard the old saying, “Don’t do what I do, do what I say,” or some variation of that message. In fact, people who do not speak from a place of authenticity often struggle in both business and personal relationships.

Focusing on being authentic in communication with everyone is one of the soft skills that highly successful leaders learn to use effectively. In reality, these leaders don’t just use authenticity; they embody authentic communication, which becomes the only way they interact with others.

What Is Authentic Communication?

Being authentic in any communication means being true to yourself and your values. However, it does not mean your opinion, ideas, statements, or the content you communicate is correct. What it means is that you are willing to share your knowledge, ideas, or opinions and open up the potential for others to share theirs.

In sharing your feelings and contributions honestly and authentically, you are modeling what you hope others do as well. At the same time, being open to listening to their insight and discussing the shared information shows respect and appreciation for their contribution to helping in solving the problem.

Building Trust

One of the significant benefits of using authentic communication that provides active listening, opportunities for discussion, and respect for the contributions of others, is that communication becomes a safe activity.

People feel included and valued, which also means they build trust between group and team members, leadership and employees, and people in family or social circles. It is also a critical step in learning more about the people in your world on more than a surface level.

Understanding more about people helps you be empathetic and recognize the various challenges that individuals may face without anyone knowing these issues are in their lives.

It is essential to work on authentic communication, particularly if it has not been a part of management or workplace culture. Start with evaluating your own communication for authenticity, honesty, and alignment with your values.

Provide a safe space for your team to talk to each other in authentic types of discussion. Elevating these discussions and modeling how to listen, communicate with respect, and even where and how to hold these conversations are great starting points in moving from authoritative types of discussions to authentic communication from a place of personal growth.