To be an inspiring leader you must lead from the inside out and demonstrate confident vulnerability. Being confident in the gifts, talents, and strengths that you bring to the table and vulnerable with where you need help gives everyone the permission to do the same. Authentic Leadership encourages authenticity from everyone.
This is part 3 of the 5-part series on Authentic Leadership by Diana Gabriel, Certified Strengths Strategy Coach.Build trust by speaking clearly, directly, and honestly. This is authentic communication. Click To Tweet
Inauthentic communication is the quickest way to lose the respect and trust of your people. Dishonesty, mixed messages, inconsistency, and unreliability are serious communication weaknesses. They’re noticed quickly and are impossible to hide. Authentic leadership requires direct, honest communication.
You see, when you speak clearly and directly your people will trust you. Authentic communication cannot be muddled, confusing, or timid. When you communicate with purpose, logic, intention, and emphasis, people detect your authenticity. They trust you, as their leader, to cogently convey ideas and account for your audience, which maximizes connection. Speaking as directly as possible delivers a trustworthy message. People think that a leader who hedges or beats around the bush has something to hide and views the communication as inauthentic.
When you consistently communicate complete and timely information, your people can rely on its authenticity. They know you are attempting to benefit everyone. When you hold back information for personal or political reasons, employees usually discover the deception and develop distrust. You must solve communication problems when you recognize that your people notice them and form opinions that are difficult to overturn. Seeing yourself from another person’s perspective will motivate you to enhance your approach.
Authentic communication is forged from honesty. Airs and pretenses must be cast aside. You become transparent when you admit to being fallible or poorly informed on a specific topic. Such authenticity is attractive, especially when you ask for help. Admitting mistakes reveals a vulnerability that draws people’s admiration and appreciation. As Anna Crowe writes in Get Real: The Power of Genuine Leadership, a Transparent Culture, and an Authentic You (Lioncrest Publishing, 2019), a leader’s mask severs the connections needed for collaboration and unity.
As a coach, I can attest that leaders who hold themselves accountable to their people earn respect. Making commitments means you must deliver on them. If you’re open to feedback, willing to ask your people about their needs, seek ideas for improvement, and genuinely listen to feedback, you demonstrate authenticity. Taking action based on this input convinces your people that you’re authentically interested in their welfare and growth.
How do you express your authenticity? What are your communication policies, practices, and promises? How does it affect your leadership? I’d love to hear from you. You can reach me here and on LinkedIn.