It can sometimes be difficult assessing whether a leader is being totally real with us. The words coming out of their mouth might sound like they know what they are talking about and their tone seems authoritative. Yet there is something about them that doesn’t add up. We are feeling disconnected from a conversation and we don’t know why. I worked with a woman who was confusing to read. On one hand she was a successful business developer and often asked me to help her with projects. And in another way she would challenge my every decision and action. It was impossible to know what she was really thinking.
Have you ever felt that way about a colleague or boss? Were you frustrated that you weren’t completely clear on where they stood or what their true intentions were?
Here are five roads to authentic leadership:
1. MAKE SURE YOUR MESSAGE IS CLEAR
You probably have been in conversations or meetings where the information being shared seemed confusing. Facts and directives were being spoken but in a puzzling manner. When leaders aren’t clear in what they have to say they are not being authentic. In fact people often misread those words. So the first road to travel down towards authenticity is stating your message with crystal clear clarity. To be our clearest it can sometimes be helpful to:
- Write something out before presenting your points.
- Put the ideas in order that makes sense.
- Practice out loud what you want to say because the written word can often be uncomfortable to say.
2. BE AS TRANSPARENT AS POSSIBLE
To develop authenticity leaders must be as open as possible by including all the information necessary for the person they are working with. When leaders leave out critical facts team members often deliver incorrect conclusions. Additionally, when we lead with incomplete data we deplete our credibility. Transparency is a key authentic leadership trait.
Related: How To Overcome The Leadership Blues
3. LISTEN ACTIVELY TO ALL COUNTER POINTS
In the situation I mentioned earlier, the woman never wanted to listen to my questions or my concerns. Projects had to be done her way, never willing to address potential obstacles. Traveling down this road only led me to lose respect for her and her authenticity. When leaders strategically listen:
- They develop rapport with colleagues and team members.
- They create more impactful end results.
- They empower others to grow and cultivate confidence.
- They become authentic leaders.
4. ALWAYS BE TRUTHFUL
Being honest even if we are disclosing unpopular viewpoints or information is what authentic leaders do. When people we partner with aren’t truthful in how they feel or what they are honestly thinking, it is highly unlikely a meaningful work relationship will occur. It can also lead to confusing deliverables and a great deal of conflict. I have witnessed senior leaders bickering over outcomes because truthful information and ideas were never disclosed.
5. ALLOW YOUR HEART TO LEAD THE WAY
The final road to journey down for authentic leadership is leading with our hearts. Leaders who take into consideration how team members feel and can see challenges through another person’s perspective are empathetic leaders. They don’t feel sorry for their colleagues but rather try to understand why they may be acting in a certain way. When leaders lean into what is important to other people, they will become authentic leaders.
What others roads do you travel to be an authentic leader?
The Cornerstone of Effective Marketing Is Understanding Your Niche
Find Your Why, Before You Give
How Will Asset Managers Find Ways to Distribute Going Forward?
Get Real: Stepping off the Hamster Wheel of Life
The Culture Perception Gaps Between Executives and Employees
Get Naked With Your Money: Wrinkles, Bulges And All!
Do This To Complete Your Vital Activities Each Day
Traditional Retailers Are Failing And It’s Not Amazon’s Fault
Why Following Someone Else’s Plan Never Works
Drive Towards Having Great Money Habits
Advisor15 hours ago
Cybersecurity and Privacy: Tips for People with Substantial Wealth
Brand Strategy15 hours ago
A Different Way To Think About Leverage
Equities15 hours ago
What You Need to Know about Investing in Healthcare AI
Markets1 day ago
The Fed’s Next Move May Be No Move at All
Markets2 days ago
Why The Next Recession Will Be Different
Equities2 days ago
What You’re Not Hearing About the China Trade War
Development2 days ago
The Best Practice Management Idea of the Year
Advisor2 days ago
Homer Simpson vs Mr. Burns