What does it mean to be authentic in business?

Have you ever stopped to think about it? Are you authentic? Do you have a meaning for that?

Greet authentically, be you

To me authenticity is about being real, it’s about being who you really are. And that doesn’t mean “my way or the highway, take it or leave it”, that sort of attitude will no doubt drive readers and customers away.
Being real is being honest and genuine, not putting on a front, because it looks good, or because that is the way you think you have to be or look in business, or in the field you operate in.

Do you ever find this at networking events, have you met the people who plaster on a fake smile, are all charm and high energy, yet it doesn’t feel genuine, have you seen them when they go outside and their whole demeanour changes? the armour comes down. I have, I know people who do that, what they don’t get is that on some level we all detect a fake, we detect when someone is not being genuine.

What do I have to do to be authentic?

Just be who you are. Really, it’s that simple. Though I would add that if you know you are in a bad mood or in your stuff, if you are having one of those days when things re getting to you and you know you have a lot of negative emotions, that is not who you really are.
To me who you really are is the you you are deep down inside, the person that comes from the heart and wants to connect with others.
I do appreciate that we are all both sides of the coin, and the bad days are as much a par t of us as the good days. All I’m wanting to highlight here is that when we have those days that is when we tend to lose sight of the authentic person, the person who lives for and from our heart.

So what are the benefits?

At the end of the day people buy people, you’ve heard that one before I know. And it’s true. So if you are who you are, when people like you they will be happy to do business with you. If you are pretending then you may find when you start working with someone the real you slips out and then they don’t like it and so problems rise, and you won’t have a good working relationship.

What about online?

These days a large part of our business presence is online, so we might also consider how we can be authentic in our dealings on the web. In many ways the behaviours are the same. What might you do? Just as an example, if you like something acknowledge it, tell the person you like it, compliment them, any genuine comments will be well received. If you don’t like it don’t share it, that doesn’t mean you have to be rude and announce you don’t like it. Do you see the line, its a subtle difference.

Equally when you recommend people don’t do it if you don’t know them or have nothing good to say, don’t make it up. One simple positive sentence that reflects your true experience and the benefits you received is far more value to a business than made up blurb written because you feel you “should” (or just for money).
You don’t have to live up to other people’s expectations, do what is right for you. And be the same person you are offline, don’t have an online personality and an offline one.

One thing I think is very true, it is so much easier and less of an energy drain to just be real and not be keeping up pretences all the time.

Be courteous and polite, follow sensible etiquette on and offline, there is no need to be rude or abrasive ever, and it wouldn’t do your reputation any good. Within these guideline be as genuine and honest as you can, respond from your heart, do what is true for you, and you will find people honour and respect that.

What if I’m not feeling it?

What if you feel you are not connected to the real you? if you feel you are too caught up in “life” and all the stuff it throws at you. Well I would suggest you just take some time out, it may only need a few minutes or an hour, just allow yourself to let go and slow down. Take a walk in nature, breathe deeply into your heart, write a journal , do some exercise, or meditate. Then choose to be more aware of what you are experiencing in your view of life, when you feel disconnected just bring yourself back.

It’s also good to really get connected to what life is about for you and what your business is about for you, beyond putting bread on the table. We all have a bigger reason for doing what we do. If you are unsure there are a number of ways you can connect more easily to why you do what you do. Use outside support if you need to.

It’s really not about having the most expensive car or computer or the fanciest business cards, they don’t get you business. These days our world is moving more and more towards appreciating and demanding authenticity, being who you are; and connecting to people in a genuine way is going to take you far.

What do you think? I’d love to hear your thoughts on this.

If you are uncertain about your big vision or why you are doing what you do, try our VIP Vision Day, its perfect for getting more clarity!

Comments

  1. Hi Julia. When we had a consultancy (now sold) we had a really simple test. “How would I expect to be treated?” Our logic was that if we were on the receiving end would we think it was fair or reasonable. If not then we would not do it.

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