Charisma Work Out # 7: Authenticity




To be authentic, means being true to yourself. You want to be you, not someone else.

Authenticity underpins personal impact, giving it strength and power. It’s particularly important when you manage or lead others.

To admire someone else and want to be like them is perfectly understandable. But it’s a lost cause to slavishly copy them. You simply cannot be them. They’re who they are, and you’re who you are.

When you’re being authentic you think or behave in ways others can trust. You gain impact, have more influence and your charisma shines through.

Ethical leaders and others who help companies ensure they’re behaving responsibly, need to have influence and come across as authentic.

Authenticity is an important part of charisma, or making a personal impact. Authenticity carries weight. When the real you shows through, it automatically has influence. How can you tell if you’re not being entirely authentic? Watch out these two sorts of signs: internal and externalinteriorINTERNAL:You feel removed from what you’re saying, disconnected from what really matters to you.

In some way you know you’re “putting on a front”. The real you is not being allowed to emerge.

You hide your thoughts, try to conceal your feelings and strongly censure what you actual say.

externalEXTERNAL:You start basing your behaviour or actions not on what is right, but on what’s convenient or easy.

You’re open to pressure from others to do things which—when you think about it–you know are wrong or highly questionable.

Do any of the following resonate with you?


It would be great to wake up one day and be able to claim INAUTHENTIC But being authentic isn’t a goal. It’s a process.

It’s about wanting to be real, not phony or contrived; Only by properly connecting with people do you become worthy of their trust. You’re are being authentic when you:

  • Mean what you, and say what you mean: Being consistent in how you communicate strengthens your impact, because people come to believe what you say.
  • Show you have clear principles and act on them.  You use phrases such as:

“What really matters to me is…”

“Here is where I stand of this…”

“I feel it is very important that…”

“I cannot go along with that because…”

“That would go against what I believe in, which is…”

“This is wrong because…”

“This is right thing to do and I want to do it.”

How can you make sure you come across as authentic, and therefore be more impactful, memorable and make a stronger impression on others?

Try this new Charisma Work Out right now! Here comes a media person with a mic!Being interviewed

How will you respond to these probing questions. 

Next, here’s how to follow through on them.

authenticity2Act as if

Not everyone believes authenticity is so essential.  INSEAD professor Hemenia Ibarta at the recent UK CIPD conference gave it a different spin: [1]

“It’s perfectly fine to “fake it until you make it”

“Why can’t your definition of authenticity be ‘being as I might become’, rather than being as I always have been.’

Instead Ibata argues for entirely leaving behind entirely the whole aim of being authentic. Instead she suggests focusing on specific skills such as effective delegation. In essence,

“We usually tell people to change they way they think–that doesn’t work.”

While the professor comes at this from the angle of simply being counter intuitive, she may not be entirely right. People quickly detect when you’re faking it and instinctively react, usually in adverse ways. However she has a point that if you’re unsure how to be authentic then the best thing is probably to at least try to be.

  1. Authenticity is over rated, People Management December 2015

 Read a free chapter of my book Look inside book


[spacer height=”20px”][spacer height=”20px”]

For information about a personal impact learning event please click here.

personal impact

 To be notified about the rest of this Work Out series, click on the subscribe button:


Comments are closed.