Women business leaders should hone their skills so that they come from inside and are not a reflection of someone they are trying to emulate.
This year’s catch phrase for women in business is, “Be your authentic self.”
As I’ve mentioned before on these pages, women shouldn’t be like men. They shouldn’t hide their femininity, sexuality, communality, sensitivity and whatever else is attributed to women more often than men. They should be real.
Here is sage advice from Marcia Reynolds on the road to authenticity.
1. Look Outside
Whenever making career transitions and reinventing yourself, look outside to determine how best to act. Imitate people you admire. This will feel awkward, but it will give you a chance to practice skills such as negotiating and persuading. As you become more comfortable with the skills, integrate them into your own style.
This is a logical step in your growth as long as you can quickly shift from trying to BE someone else to DOING things like someone you admire. As soon as you can use your own voice and special talents, the more effective you will be in connecting and getting results.
2. Look Inside
When a situation is uncomfortable, you can authentically lock yourself into one “self” where you work hard to prove your point. Yet you can also authentically call on different behavioral patterns that are a part of you.
When what you are doing isn’t getting results, sit back, quiet your brain and listen before you respond. In this space, you have access to many patterns of behavior and energy that you have developed over time.
Early in your career you could call on Warrior energy to help fight your way up the corporate ladder. Latter, you might have better results using Connector and Inspirer energies.
This process of identifying, focusing on some, and decreasing other behavioral patterns is how you grow.
3. Don’t Look Anywhere; let it go
It doesn’t matter what your audience thinks of you. For every moment you worry about their reaction, you are giving less than 100 percent. They need to see 100 percent no matter if they like you. Being authentic means being skilled, knowledgeable and disciplined enough to let go.
Being authentic is being yourself. If you feel as others are viewing you as inauthentic, you are being inauthentic; perception is reality in the eyes of the perceiver.
If you have skills to incorporate into your business repertoire, you must practice them enough to be comfortable with them before you can use them as your skills.
You have to feel comfortable using them so that you are self-assured that you are your own person—that you are authentic.
Read Marcia Reynolds entire Huffington Post article, “How Do You Know if You Are Being Authentic?”
Marcia Reynolds, Psy.D. is the author of Wander Woman: How High-Achieving Women Find Contentment and Direction. She is a professional coach, speaker and leadership trainer who works with a variety of people and organizations around the world.
How do you define authenticity? What have you done to achieve it in moments when you are unsure of yourself? Sharing your ideas will help us all show up more powerfully in the world.