Authenticity is the Key in Bringing Out the Leader In You, So How Can You Be Authentic at Work?
By Audrey McGuckin, CEO, WOTW -
At WOTW, we value authenticity and honesty above most else. Our number one house rule is to "speak your truth." Why? Because when there is an environment of psychological safety, there is space for growth mindsets. When you speak your truth, you bring your authentic self. To work and your life.
Research conducted by Korn Ferry shows that leading with greater authenticity may unlock more leadership potential in women. A survey on leadership development at Simmons University in 2022 reported that respondents who have the ability to feel like they belong and are authentic at work feel more confident (71%), as well as more engaged (60%) and happier (46%).
But why is it so difficult to be authentic at work? Often in an attempt to live up to organizational norms, women especially, go against their own values and are not always true to themselves. That’s why we all find power in the women leaders who speak their truth.
In terms of leaders within their organizations, it’s important to provide a supportive platform for women to share their experiences and insights. Organizations can also put systems in place for the women in their companies to be bold and authentic. If women leaders have the psychological safety to talk about the issues facing them and the ways in which they can honestly connect and practice, they can then grow in their roles.
As we prepare for our upcoming WOTW Summit 2023 in Tampa, this is a topic that we will be exploring in depth. Regardless of where you are in your life it’s important to have the knowledge. It can be inspiring to see other women being authentic and overcoming the imposter syndrome that plagues many women leaders.
The more women leaders build self awareness at work, the more they can begin to reveal them within their organizations. For the women leaders, it’s important that they build the skills needed to be self aware, to speak up, and to know themselves. That way they can show up in their careers fully as themselves. The more women develop these skills, the easier it becomes to put them to use.
There are a number of mindsets involved that hold women back from authenticity. Once women begin to build self awareness, they can work to shift their mindset. They can put themselves first. They can be strategic about their career. They can develop a community of other women to support them and they can gather the tools they need to speak up and be vulnerable.
Women leaders who receive the coaching to step up to the table can change their entire lives. I see it all the time. There is a learning around understanding their unique talents in the workplace and once leaders understand that they can embrace their authentic selves.
Sometimes authenticity means speaking up. Sometimes it means choosing your battles and finding balance in your life and your career. Women learn this by practicing and learning from others. They learn by networking with peers in a fun and energizing way. We see this in our Women’s Leadership Forum cohorts.
In other words, by gaining new skills you can unlock the authentic leader in you.
So if you are a woman leader struggling with how to show up authentically at work, I hope you will engage in the conversation with us and possibly join one of our many teachable moments. Because when women are empowered, they show up in amazingly authentic ways.
Are you ready to show up and be the leader you want to be? If so, please join us for the Women On Their Way Summit.
Thursday, August 24, 2023
8:30am - 2:30pm EST