Most people value authenticity in their lives — being honest, genuine, and real, and true to their values and their vision. If we want love and a depth of connection in our lives (most people I know want this), we want love and connection based on who we “really” are… our authentic selves!
Authenticity in the Workplace
We may see authenticity as important in intimate relationships at home but it also plays a key role in the workplace. Often, when coaching executives, I am coaching them on being more authentic—turning up more fully in their work lives and encouraging their reports to do the same. Why?
…”the more authentic you are, the more effective you are. …Authenticity is really nothing more than making sure that people are fully expressing what they think and feel. … if people are not expressing themselves fully in what they think and feel within the context of the work they are accountable to produce then the enterprise or organization is editing out data. This impairs good decision making and follow-through…and ultimately undermines success. … When you have a group that is authentic and rigorous in their dialogues, you will have a high performing team.” –from The Yoga of Leadership, Kripalu Magazine, 2009
Authenticity in Relationships
What is interesting to me is how that last line also applies to couples and families. When you have a couple or family that is authentic and rigorous in their dialogues, you will find the greatest trust, connection, and intimacy — a “high performing” relationship or family.
The practice of Nonviolent Communication is all about authenticity. What is my genuine experience? What I am seeing or hearing (rather than my story or interpretation about what’s happening)? What is my genuine response–my feelings and needs? This is our true aliveness.
Also, authenticity is a key quality within ourselves. We all long for our essence— to know who we truly are, and to live true to that being. When we are triggered or acting habitually we have, in effect, at that moment, lost our authenticity.
In effect, NVC gives us practical tools to be authentic—and to live with rigor around our authenticity.
Bring Your Full Power into the World
I have three questions I would like you to consider:
- How are you connecting authentically with yourself?
- How are you connecting authentically with others?
- And how are you bringing your full power and authenticity into the world?
In asking the last question, I think of the Bible verse about not putting your light under a bushel. Each of us is an authentic being. That authenticity can be shrouded or lost through fear. By being true to our authenticity, we can illuminate situations that otherwise can be clouded or disconnecting. By being our authentic ourselves—discovering– who am I really? What do I value? What brings me most alive? What matters to me? —we bring our full power into the world.
I hope you will sit with the questions above and if you value greater authenticity in your life see what doable request you can make. What will support greater authenticity with yourself and with others? What does greater authenticity look like for you, in the world? What is one step you can take this week, this month?