Knowing Who You Are – How to Be Authentic in Your Business

be authenticIt’s easy to tell what is important to someone, because their actions reflect who they really are. In fact, your life is a reflection of your actions. It’s important that you be authentic about who you are and that you authentically care about who those on your team are a well. What’s even more powerful is that what you put out into the world, you also get back. If you are negative, you’ll get negativity. If you are an optimist, you’ll get back optimism. People really do reflect back to you your own outlook most of the time. The same thing can be said for your people. Give them respect if you want respect; give them your time if you want time from them, show that you care if you want them to care, and so forth. Look at any truly successful healthy business – those businesses clearly understand that concept, and it shows.

Here are a few ways to be authentic in your business:

Always Pass the Credit – When you have success, it’s easy to want to take all the credit. But the truth is, you should pass that credit on to your team. The more you do that, the more they’ll want to give of themselves because they feel as if the successes are shared, appreciated, and celebrated. Success feels good, but always remember – so does getting credit for it.

Always Take the Blame – Sometimes things do go wrong. But, a real leader will take the blame. After all, it was your vision that wasn’t explained enough and that allowed the failure to occur. But, you can learn from it. Let your team know that you take the blame, why, and how you’ll proceed in the future. If you prove to them that you are all on the same team and that you are NOT a threat, you will get their best work.

Know Real Talent When You See It – When you bring on team members, bring on people who have a talent for something special, and then let them go. Don’t tie them up by having them do something not in their wheel house. Use your team members for what they love to do and are good at doing.  Using their gifts and talents will benefit everyone.

Be the Reflection You Want to See – In order to truly be authentic, it’s important that when you look in the mirror, you ask yourself, “What do I see?” Do you see a giving, kind, smart, hard-working person? Most of the time, your team will follow you and your example. Be the example you want to see, whether that’s how you talk to people, how you dress, how you handle stress, or how you do your work.

Know Who You Are – A real leader knows who they are deep down and doesn’t try to hide it. They are authentically themselves and want others to be authentically themselves too. Knowing what you’re good at is easy, but you need to also be the type of person who isn’t afraid to admit what you’re not good at as well, and use team member who are good at your weaknesses to create a strong team.

Know Your Team – Take the time to get to know each member of your team so that you know when there is a problem. Being able to build a relationship with each team member is essential to being able to work together. Know what makes them tick, what bothers them, and their favorite way to receive praise. These are important things to know to be truly authentic in your relationships with your team.

Listen to and Act on Feedback – Allow and encourage your team to give you constructive feedback. You want them to feel free to tell you things, even those things you may not want to hear.  As long as it’s meant for good, that’s all that matters to be constructive. To show that you’re listening, you should also act on the feedback – either by stating you heard them and will consider it, or by actually doing something.

To be successful in business, it’s important to be authentic enough to first know who you are as a person and as a leader, but it’s worth nothing unless you also take the time to get to know those on your team in the same way.  If you follow these tips, you will have a successful, healthy business, filled with team members who value you for it, and it will show in their work ethic and what they are willing to do for the good of the team.

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