Looking to become a better leader? One trait that is often overlooked but crucial is authenticity in leadership.
In this episode of Corrie Lo Radio, we explore the importance of authenticity in leadership and its impact on building lasting trust amongst whoever you are leading, whether they be team members, students, or even your kids.
What is Authenticity?
Authenticity is the ability to be true to oneself, values, beliefs, and experiences.
When leaders are authentic, they are more relatable and connect better with team members. This leads to stronger relationships, increased morale, and productivity, and a greater sense of loyalty and commitment from team members. On the other hand, inauthentic leaders can create a toxic work environment, leading to poor morale and high employee turnover. Due in large part to their reports not trusting them.
The Benefits of Authentic Leadership
Authenticity is crucial for leaders and can have a powerful impact on their teams. When leaders are authentic, they build trust and respect among team members, which can lead to increased morale, productivity, and loyalty. However, authenticity is not always easy, and leaders may face challenges such as facing fear of vulnerability and the risk of backlash. Despite these challenges, developing authenticity is crucial for effective leadership.
For underrepresented communities in leadership positions, authenticity can be particularly important. By sharing their experiences and perspectives, they can create change and build trust among team members. This can help to create a more inclusive work environment where everyone feels comfortable being themselves, due in large part to their leadership showing it’s safe to be themselves.
To cultivate authenticity, leaders can take actionable steps such as cultivating self-awareness, being honest and transparent with team members, admitting mistakes, building strong relationships through active listening and empathy, encouraging open communication and feedback, creating a safe and inclusive work environment, and showing vulnerability and sharing personal stories when appropriate. By prioritizing authenticity, leaders can build stronger relationships with their teams, foster greater trust and respect, and create positive change within their organizations.
Developing Authenticity in Leadership
Here are some actionable strategies can start using today to cultivate autheticity in your leadership skills.
To cultivate authenticity in your leadership, it’s important to first reflect on your values and beliefs. This means taking the time to think about what’s important to you, what your personal and professional goals are, and what kind of leader you want to be. When you’re clear on these things, it’s easier to be authentic and stay true to yourself.
Honesty and Transparency
Being honest and transparent with your team members is another key aspect of authenticity in leadership. This means being open about your thought process, explaining your decisions, and admitting to your mistakes. When you’re honest and transparent, your team members know that they can trust you, and that you’re not hiding anything from them.
Admitting to your mistakes and taking responsibility for your actions is also important. No one is perfect, and everyone makes mistakes. But when you’re a leader, it’s important to own up to your mistakes and take steps to correct them. This shows your team members that you’re accountable and that you care about doing the right thing.
Open Communication and Feedback
Encouraging open communication and feedback is another important way to cultivate authenticity in your leadership. When you create an environment where people feel comfortable speaking up and sharing their thoughts, you’re able to get a better sense of what’s going on in your team and what people need from you as a leader.
Safe and Inclusive Environment
Creating a safe and inclusive work environment where team members feel comfortable being themselves is also key. When people feel safe and included, they’re more likely to be themselves, which can lead to greater creativity and innovation. As a leader, it’s your job to create an environment where everyone feels valued and respected.
Vulnerability and Personal Stories
Lastly, showing vulnerability and sharing personal stories where appropriate can help you connect with your team members on a deeper level. When people see that you’re not perfect and that you’re willing to be vulnerable, they’re more likely to open up to you and trust you. This can lead to stronger relationships and a more cohesive team.
Being an authentic leader is crucial for building trust and strong relationships with team members. It leads to increased morale, productivity, and a greater sense of loyalty and commitment from team members. By reflecting on your values and beliefs, being honest and transparent, and creating a safe and inclusive work environment, you can cultivate authenticity in your leadership and create positive change within your organization.