3 Things You Think Make You An Authentic Leader That Actually Don’t

The importance of authenticity is a crucial characteristic of modern-day business leaders; however, being a genuine leader can be reduced to simply being who you are. It is a common belief that being yourself is the most important factor to happiness and success in the workplace; however, in the face of the many challenges managers have to deal with in a constantly evolving business environment that “just being yourself” (JBY) approach could result in disastrous outcomes.

However, numerous studies have shown that authenticity is a significant professional benefit. Many would say that authenticity is ” the gold standard for leadership.” But how do you attain authenticity in your work environment if it’s not as easy as JBY?

To begin, genuine leaders recognize that they’re not flawless and often consider themselves to work in development. They aren’t afraid to admit their insecurities and seek suggestions from others. They also actively seek help and advice for improving their lives in general, which includes the character of their people, beliefs, and mental outlook.

They create trust in the people they manage because their actions align with the values they believe in.

Unfortunately, these leaders are not very common because only a quarter of employees trusts their bosses. But, if you would like to be a part of the trustworthy few, there are three things you have to do to get rid of to create your definition of authentic leadership.

1. Applying the same leadership style for every circumstance

Suppose you’re JBYing in the effort for authenticity. In that case, you’re likely to approach each event with the same approach and never stray from the one suited to your individual preferences. It’s not only the wrong way to help you to be authentic. However, it can also hinder the effectiveness of your leadership. In the world of business, you’re faced with various diverse challenges. You’ll succeed if you change your approach to leadership following the circumstances. Do not worry about it: being flexible doesn’t mean that you’re a fake or make you a poor leader. Actually, the most influential leaders can tailor their actions according to the people they work with and their specific goals at a moment in time.

For instance, in this case, you could employ a coaching-based leadership strategy with an employee who’s no longer a novice, but might need to know more about the industry they work in or more direction. Also, you could adopt an approach to leadership that sets a pace with an employee who seems to thrive on rewards and recognition but is struggling with burnout. Steve Jobs often put on his leadership role as a coach when the design teams received feedback on their concepts. He let designers work, but would come into the mix to help and coach them.

In her article on the leaders they work with and their coaching methods, Stephanie Peskett, the senior vice-president and partner of consulting firm BTS stated, “Unfortunately, far too many don’t understand how to train their employees. They instinctively would like to assist and guide. However, they do make mistakes like waiting for the annual review to offer guidance or instructing people on what to do rather than encouraging people to seek solutions.”

2. Being an open book

If you’re following a JBY style of management, you could be tempted to present yourself as an open book to your employees. Your employees indeed appreciate openness. In reality, everyone in your life likely has the same sentiments. Transparency helps build trust, which is an essential element in any relationship. Let your employees know that you respect and can trust your colleagues by keeping them informed about important strategic initiatives, your business’s health, and your plans for the future.

This doesn’t mean that you must always disclose all information your customers want to know about you However, you should be forthcoming. You are sharing plans that aren’t fully formed or agreements that may or might work out for nobody. If your colleagues require to be informed, let them know. However, think about the appropriate timing and format to convey your message rather than becoming an open book to anyone who wants to understand questions.

3. Prioritizing chats with friends

If you’re JBYing, you may be tempted by the prospect of increasing the time you spend in your water cooler with other team members. From a superficial perspective, it seems to be a great idea. Meeting your employees is a great way to be satisfying and valuable to employee engagement. However, remember that getting to know your employees can be about how well you interact with your employees more than the number of these interactions. Also, it’s not necessary to talk about more than a few conversations to be a genuine leader.

It doesn’t mean that you should schedule more company-wide happy hours or social events or join in on the annual Christmas party. Instead, concentrate on building relationships built around being attentive to your employees’ concerns and suggestions. If they feel valued and appreciated, they’ll feel motivated to participate. If not, they’ll be looking to search for a new job. And their decision to quit will not be influenced by the absence of water-cooler conversation. Set up regular check-ins with your staff and allow them to set the agenda. If employees are speaking to you, keep eye contact, and stay clear of the many distractions on digital devices available to you.

The best leaders don’t appear to perform their job and “be them” to impress employees and tackle complex business issues. This may sound contradictory; however, authentic leadership takes several years to master and plenty of training. In the same manner, it is essential to avoid common traps such as the three listed above that seem to promote authenticity. However, they hinder it.

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Samatha Vale
Samatha a senior writer for HC's entertainment team. She is an entreprenuer, mother and an excellent writer. She's also an avid reader, music enthusiast and all around inquisitive person - which is just a nice way of saying she's nosy.

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