As leaders we are taught not to be authentic, to keep ourselves separate and removed from staff, but that really doesn’t work in leading a effectively team. If you had a doctor or tour guide that you didn’t jive with would you continue working with them? No, you wouldn’t. You’d probably not come back again, in the workplace we don’t just leave. Staff will begin to disconnect, then that leads to underperformance and next thing you know staff begin to act as if they “hate” their job.
So what does a company do about this? What should a leader do? Those in middle management are the ones that affect the direct staff the most but MOST are NOT supported in engaging staff more.
Since we can only change ourselves, as leaders, we should work on what we CAN do. Here’s some tips on how to be authentic and professional.
- Share and own your mistakes
- Let loose
- Share your story
- Share and own your mistakes – this is that simple, allowing your failures to show that you too are human and when you make a mistake you not only overcome it you own it. I always make it clear to my team that I make mistakes and “mistakes” will happen as we learn and grow. They are essential in making things better.
- Let loose – That’s right, be human, tell jokes with your staff. Share funny memes. Be allowing yourself to relax and have fun at work, it allows your employees to also have fun and enjoy their work.
- Share your story – Many times we have worked so hard to get where we are, we forget where we came from. And not that really did, I know I didn’t, but we just assume that everyone has had it “hard” and when someone says they grew up “poor” you expect it to be the same kind of “poor” that you came from. By sharing your story, you can then become more connected and “human” to your staff. We all have struggles, why not rejoice in them and how far we have come!
What are some ways that you are authentic in the workplace? Are you taking the time to connect with others?