Lab Notes

6 Ways to Be Your Authentic Self at Work

Have you ever been in a meeting with a bunch of people and felt like everyone is holding back?

You hear people making statements, but the statements have no soul. Their bodies are in the room, but they are not authentically present.

As a result, you end up with a bunch of stale, careful statements about what someone thinks someone else wants to hear.

Good ideas show up when you show up.

Listen, I’m guilty. I’ve tried to be something that just…isn’t…me, and that’s when I’ve had my most stressful working moments.

But I’ve learned that we all own our day and our choices. When we are our authentic selves, the choices we make reflect our character.

Pretending is not just stressful, it saps creative flow. All the energy meant for generating ideas that solve problems goes into ACTING a certain way.

Just be you with no excuses.

Show up and own it. And know that when the authentic you shows up, we have a greater potential to generate kick ass ideas and to support others in showing up too.

So how can we show up and support others in doing the same?

6 Ways to Be Your Authentic Self at Work

  1. Be honest. This doesn’t mean wearing your soul on your sleeve, but be OK having good and bad days. Know that you are not perfect. Nobody is and nobody ever will be, so stop putting that pressure on yourself.
  1. Lead by example by being present. Say “Be Here Now” to yourself if you start to get lost. If you aren’t in the room, you are stealing from your potential and the potential of the experience you are having with others.
  1. Support others in their successes – and more importantly – their failures. Talk about what didn’t work and what could be better. Learn from one another’s feedback but provide feedback with loving kindness.
  1. Accept failure as part of the process. If you fail and you learn, then it’s learning.
  1. Don’t be a jerk. If you are a jerk, admit it and apologize.
  1. Have fun. Laugh. Showing up authentically takes work and lots of energy and quite frankly, isn’t easy. But it’s worth it.  So find bright spots that inspire you through tough moments. And enjoy the ride.

At GoKart, we value curious minds and fearless exploration. And because exploration means risk of failure, we look for people with the courage and humility to know that failure is an essential ingredient of long-term success.

 

GoKart Labs specializes in Invention & Business Strategy, User Experience & Design, Web & Mobile Software Development, and Digital Marketing. To find out more about becoming a client, call 612.454.4012.

A heady blend of three-parts strategist and one-part project manager, Jackie moonlights as a yogi and helps keep our collective vibe firmly planted in its zen space. Bubbling with infectious energy, she’s also relied upon to guide on-demand deep breathing exercises to level the mood (or take the edge off a quadruple cold-press buzz).

  1. I like “demonstrate you’re comfortable with being vulnerable by asking questions you think might be obvious or understood by others”. (I suppose this would fall under the ‘Be honest’ category.

    These question add great clarity for the group, odds are someone else is wondering the same thing, and you earn real trust because people learn you’ll speak up. And in the long run you’ll often garner more trust than those that rule with their wit, charisma, technical prowess, etc.

  2. Thanks for the great article Jackie! I suppose it’s like the saying goes, “the first step is admitting you have a problem.” Without collective authenticity, small individual/corporate problems become bigger ones. Get it up on the wall, acknowledge it, and change it together for the better!