Your Authenticity at Work
We’ve all left a meeting or work function before and second-guessed ourselves: “I probably should not have shared/said/done that…oops.”
Professionalism means different things to different people, but essentially, it means to have a calm, approachable, and confident demeanor when in a professional work setting.
The issue is that we are all emotional humans, and we don’t always come into work with that type of energy or headspace.
Whether it’s taking problems from home and bringing it into the office with you, or coping with the high stress of your current workday, it can cause even the most stable people to react in a way that’s not necessarily the best for their reputation.
For others, we get so excited about being around great people at work that we sometimes share too much about the personal details of our lives.
There is a reason you were hired — and besides your experience, it’s for who you are as a person.
Bringing your unique experiences means applying what you’ve learned to various scenarios at work, whether it’s solving a problem, managing people, or creating new ideas.
When you overshare, it can be distracting from accomplishing the goals of the business. While it can be a temporary means of bonding, it can sometimes undermine your peers or team looking at you as a leader, and therefore can have a negative impact on your reputation.
Some of the best advice I’ve gotten seems simple, but many forget to put it into practice: think before you speak.
Too many of us have felt regret after we say something without thinking, whether that regret is actually warranted or not.
Before you react purely based on your emotional state, try to think: How will this benefit this conversation? This business relationship? The business overall? This type of self-awareness is helpful in maintaining a positive image at work.
All of this doesn’t mean that you cannot be yourself at work. In fact, the ability to be yourself is one of the most important things to me when deciding to take a job.
I feel as though I generally have one version of myself, and don’t easily toggle between a “work personality” and my “normal” personality.
It’s all about knowing your audience, thinking about the effect of what you say, and the perceptions of those around you.
We all have experienced coworkers who have the personality of a dial tone, and those who are exposing every detail of their lives. Striving for a balance between both helps you to be relatable, approachable, respected, and sets you up for success at work and in life.