Staying true to yourself at work

Staying true to yourself at work. Advise from a leading Executive Consultant

Staying true to yourself at work will enable you to become your more authentic self. This needs to be done in the right environment at the right time. We’ll discuss that below, and why it could be a very positive move.

If you need at little more insight, also watch this video: Expressing Thoughts And Feelings In Business Meetings .

Staying true to yourself at work - script

Today I want to talk to you about removing the mask. I want to ask you, what are you afraid of? What are you hiding? What is it that you don’t want us to see at work? What is it you wish you could say to us at work? I’ve been inspired about removing the mask by my good friends at LinkedIn, Sales Solutions in North America, as part of a project Ignite. 

They’ve been helping their team members find a safe space with their friends and colleagues, where they can remove the mask and the results have astounding, profoundly life-changing and I want to share that with you.

I want you to start thinking about what are the things you have been holding onto, either in your whole career or because of things that have happened more recently. Most of us have some form of mask at work. When I was at sales, it wasn’t until afterwards that I realised I had so many I’d piled on over the years for different customers, it took me a long time to unpick them and work out which one was me. 

I think I was afraid that I didn’t have much to say, that I wasn’t that interesting to people. So, I just piled on these masks. I think we all do it at times. The thing you need to think about is this, if you have masks most emotionally intelligent people can see it. They can tell you are not being completely yourself. They can tell you are being a bit contained or holding back or that you’ve recently changed and you’re not yourself. They can see the mask.

Now, if you think about it logically, if you’re showing or holding things back, what do people think? What do they assume? People think you’re hiding something. So unless you are very Machiavellian (very rare these days), they assume you’re hiding weakness. It is not actually helping you and however hard it may feel to remove it and expose your fears, you will benefit from it, I promise. You will feel better, a sense of relief, people get to know the real you and they’ll rally around. I’ve seen it so many times.

I would advise you think about building a team around you where you can feel safe to talk, get to know people, build some trust through openness so that you can talk and remove the mask. It could be your Dad never hugged you, your Mum dropped you in the bath on your head. It could be you failed your exams at school, you never went to college. It could be your parents were alcoholics and you had to help them, come home from school and pick them up and bring up the family. 

We’ve heard some of these stories recently. A new acquaintance of mine, who’s very quickly becoming a dear friend, her sister had died recently and it was really causing her problems and stress. She finally found a space within her team where she could talk about it. She found it really hard to do it, but she tells me now that she is so pleased she did. 

You may be struggling to have a baby, you may feel like you’ve got ‘imposter syndrome’ and you’re not really up to the job. It’s holding you back from being truly who you are. It’s holding us back from rejoicing in getting to know you in your authentic way.

It’s not something you have to do quickly, or should do quickly. It should be done carefully with people who are there to support you. But I’d like you to start building that self awareness of what it is you’ve been hiding. What are the masks that you are wearing? Try to think if you could find a way to start to let go. Start to open up the window so we can see you.

Good luck and I would love to hear your views on this subject by commenting below!


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