What does it really mean to be authentic?
Candidates have to be authentic. Businesses have to be authentic. If you ask a candidate during an interview if they are authentic, they will invariably answer with a spontaneous “Yes”. What do you mean by being authentic? "I am being me"! Asking them to explain in more detail is generally too difficult and puts the person in an uncomfortable situation.
In this view, let me expand on the meaning of the word “authentic”.
Being authentic is being your true self. This means that you are faithful to your own personality, know what you want and stand for your opinion. This is not static and unchangeable. You adapt yourself over time and change with self-development.
If you are authentic, you are reliable as people know who you are and they can depend on you, as you will not change in a short period.
You have your own opinion and will defend it. You will not easily copy others. As an authentic person, you can make choices because you dare to be who you are.
Being authentic can be great, but not always easy and it can lead to not being accepted or even to being excluded.
Being authentic in business can be associated with being consistent, consistent in what the company does. Adapt yes, but react from within.
Seth Gooding says “Being authentic as a business is doing what you promise”. An article written by Hirmima Ibarra in the Harvard Business Review, “The Authenticity Paradox”, is interesting. In a business, being authentic is being consistent in delivery, reflecting your values and principles, but also adapting to circumstances without losing sight of what you promised and portrayed to the outside.
Frank Vande Voorde