Authenticity is Vital in Business
Years ago I had an audience member tell me I was a “Barbie™ doll living in a plastic world.” It was the most devastating piece of feedback I’d ever received. Never in all of my life did I identify myself with being plastic or being a Barbie™. For a few moments after having been ripped apart by this woman, both in person and then again in her written evaluation, I thought about never speaking publicly again. Once I settled down and spoke with my speaking coach I was able to see the truth.
The truth was…
- I was putting on a a public face. I wasn’t totally being me.
- I was telling all the good stuff but leaving out the things that got me to where I was.
- I was afraid to be the real me – the true me.
- And I got caught. This woman saw through me and it made we uncomfortable.
So there was truth in the feedback I received. While I would not call myself a Barbie™, I did see truth in what she said. I had not been authentic on stage and she called me on it. As I look back on this experience and many others since then I have learned a few things. I have learned that:
- When I put on a “persona” no matter what it is – it doesn’t come across as genuine.
- People want to connect with, buy from and deal with real people. They spot a phony right away.
- It’s easier and more fun to be the real me.
- People are more responsive when I shared the real me.
- Being authentic doesn’t mean I share my dirty laundry – it simply means I am who I am without adding or taking away from.
To be more productive in business – be the real, authentic you!