Are you an authentic leader?

3/08/2017
Authenticity constantly evolves and grows but some of its characteristics never change. If you’re mindful, a good communicator and have followers who identify with you, then you possess the qualities of an authentic leader.
 
These qualities engage followers to act for you and, in turn, re-enforce the positive impact your actions can have on the workplace. From an HR perspective, authentic leadership can make processes much more effective across the whole organisation.


The harmony of authenticity

Authentic leadership has four closely aligned components:

  • Self-awareness
  • Transparency
  • Behavioural integrity
  • Balanced processing (listening to various views before making decisions).

As a leader, you need to be mindful of who you are, what you’re thinking and how you’re demonstrating that in the workplace.

Engaging with authenticity

The trick to effectively communicating your authenticity in a complex and changing workplace boils down to saying what you mean and meaning what you say. As a leader, you need to engage with your people: ask questions and listen (balanced processing). This engagement is the key to building long and trusted relationships.

If your engagement falls short, your followers will hold you accountable and lose trust in you.

Why balance is important

jamesbraund.jpgCompanies with authentic leaders create response points for employees during the roll out of strategy. A leader who is self-aware, transparent and engages in balanced processing will skilfully build employee strengths, and deliver performance development and management effectively.

To become self-aware as a leader you need to be aware of internal and external information, especially absorbing feedback from others to assess your impact and people’s response to it in the workplace. It sounds complex but it’s actually simple in practice.

Want to know more?

Psychologist Dr Carol Gill is an Assistant Professor at Melbourne Business School and delivers on our MBA and Executive Education programs. She spoke in depth about authenticity for fluid organisations with colleague Jan Marshall in a recent podcast.