Authenticity, Transparency, and Respect.
Are we thinking about authenticity the way we should? I have met plenty of business professionals who have always been transparent and authentic – throughout there careers. But the talk continues. This can only make me believe that a problem continues…
Someone can use several four-letter words in a blog or utilize unimaginative yet provocative language and, all of a sudden, they are labeled authentic and deemed as a keeper of transparency. But is this really transparency or authenticity? I think we can call it attention-seeking or shock-value, perhaps selfishness or boredom but most likely proves a serious lack of true skill set and base knowledge. It certainly speaks to a deficit in creativity and a rebellious “I don’t care” attitude.
What is the best approach?
When approaching clients, customers, partners, vendors, or employees? Just wear your flip-flops and tank tops, because “Hey dude, this is who I am and I’m authentic…” I am the bona fide real deal. Really? I don’t know, sounds slightly egotistical or even childish. There have been a few times in my career when I wrote or said or tweeted the wrong thing, when I knew or later discovered that I had offended my listener. I was mortified and dwelt on it for days, in some cases, even weeks. Living like that doesn’t appeal to me. I am no good at it…
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Now if you don’t care, truly don’t care…, then cool.
Party on and offend away, but how much narrower does that make your audience? With your market share reduced and business development stunted, there is more room for those who work harder to be respectful, not authentic nor transparent. I am a big fan of being true to oneself, but at what cost? When deference for those who sign your check or promote your business diminishes, how far behind is the demise of self-respect?
For some reason, I’m really not that interested in being compared to a $4.99 box of plastic wrap. My idea of transparency is more “what you see is what you get.” I show you respect and that is what you will get. I follow through by returning phone calls and emails and that is what you’ll get. Your needs are important to me and that is what you’ll get. I understand what your problem is and I will work to solve it – that’s what you’ll get.
But don’t take my word for it, seeing is believing.
Rayanne Thorn, @ray_anne is the Marketing Director for online recruiting software company, Broadbean Technology. She is also a proud mother of four, happily engaged to Tom, residing in Laguna Beach, California, and a daily contributor for Blogging4Jobs. Connect with her on LinkedIn.