Lets not kid ourselves, being authentic is a dying art form! Too many people are walking around with multiple faces on that are constantly contradicting. One of the most hypocritical environments is the work place!
Have you worked with someone who instantly becomes someone else when the big boss walks in? They act one way in front of their colleagues and suddenly change when the boss walks in the door! Ya, we have all seen it. In fact you might even be that person!
You see more then often people work out of need not out of love. So what does that mean? When we need something we often do whatever it takes in order to maintain our position. For example, I need this job to pay my bills, feed my children, pay the rent. This means we tolerate a lot more even if it makes us miserable and we often become inauthentic. We put on a smiling face when we really are upset, we say yes to our bosses when deep down inside we don’t agree, and we sometimes compromise who we are for fear that we may get fired or lose our paycheck!
This is often the reason why people get bitter at work! They begin to feel like they don’t have a voice and start to feel like they can’t be themselves especially around their boss. They are scared to be authentic for fear that they will lose everything. Being an executive for many years I constantly watched this happen. One second an employee would sit in my office and praise the new policies and ideas I implemented and then two seconds later they are complaining to their colleagues about how they hated the changes.
Nothing makes a boss more pissed then employees who are inauthentic and two faced. Actually we strive to have employees who are honest and who have the passion and the drive to tell us when they feel something.
Easier said than done? Here are a few tips to help you be authentic in front of your boss!
Have an Option B:
Having an option B means that if you were not able to work at your current location, you have another plan to help you in life. This will automatically make you more authentic because a sense of “I don’t care” will set in. This is what you want when you’re working. A sense that you are going to do whatever is needed for the company including speaking up and if they don’t like it at least you know you stayed true to you and hopefully the mission! How many times have you said “I’m not going to say anything because I have bills to pay?” BULL! You should say something if you believe it’s wrong and for the good of the company.
Know Your Boss From a Distance:
Observe your boss when he’s speaking, walking, or just working. Learn their nuances, little quirks, and see what kind of person they are from a distance. This will make your boss more approachable as you are catching them during their most authentic moments, when they think no one is watching.
Have an Overwhelming Care and Passion For Your Company:
This may sound strange but it works! When you love your company and have an overwhelming passion for it, you are going to speak up and let your authentic voice out! This is because you care more about the company than your own well being! You see the big picture! Having this passion allows the authentic you to come out even if it is in front of your boss! At the end of the day you respect the boss position but if you care about the company enough you will speak up! After a while your relationship will become more and more real with your boss as they will notice your drive and commitment to the company.