Looking for a way to stand out in your workplace? This becomes a critical question when the economy is tugging at most businesses purse strings and companies are looking to trim costs. Cutting down forces, outsourcing, rightsizing, and laying off is often a quick fix to an ugly problem for the leadership ranks. Separate yourself from the herd by being authentic.
* Suspending all judgment and keep an open mind to everything. This does not mean you blindly accept anything, but you gather enough information by questioning and processing that you can set aside your old frames of reference and see the situation with a new pair of eyes.
* Train yourself to be in the moment and not dredging up all the old thinking on why something won’t work or that you don’t like it. This will allow you to be fluid and will move you from that static positioning and entitlement.
* Allow your self-confidence to shine through so you trust your instinct. This will guide your behavior to try new approaches. I always recommend keeping a success journal and compile all the successes you have, no matter how small. When you need a little motivation, read through the pages and remind yourself of all the cool things you have achieved.
* Train yourself to respond not react. Knee jerking when you react tears down the respect most strive to build. Responding allows you to authentically determine the real guts of the situation and suspends the emotional battle. If you don’t, you will be an authentic jerk and a spoiled brat.
* Taking a creative approach to living, rather than relying on routine and habit. This allows you to genuinely be different from others. Change anything to spark creativity. Have a stand up meeting, pick up the phone and call someone rather than blindly replying to an email, rearrange your office – any thing!
Experts from Psychology Today offer their (sometimes conflicting) views on how to lead the authentic life.
* Read novels. “It’s the best way to figure out what it feels like to be in someone else’s head—and that’s what helps us to distinguish our own identity.” —John Portmann, professor of religious ethics, University of Virginia
* Be deliberate. “Authenticity consists in being aware that you have choices and consciously choosing what you do.” —Roy Baumeister, social psychologist, University of Florida
* But not too deliberate. “People often make better decisions when they don’t think about them. Go with your gut. Authentic reactions are much more at a gut level.” —Mark Leary, social psychologist, Duke University
What traits do you view as being authentic?
Marsha Petrie Sue – Now taking personal responsibility for my authenticity