If you’ve been keeping up with business lately, you’ve probably heard forms of the word “authentic” thrown around quite a bit. Today I thought we’d take some time to consider the benefits, drawbacks and situations surrounding this term.
Let’s start with the reason I’m excited that authenticity is becoming a buzz word. In the world we’ve dealt with a lot of liars, cheaters, scammers and people trying to make a quick buck. With the turn towards businesses, and people, being more authentic, more honest and open if you will, hopefully some of the trust that has been lost over the past many years will start to return.
Of course, one of the drawbacks to it becoming a buzz word is that people may not take it seriously anymore. If a business on every street corner says they’re “authentic”, how will you know who to believe and who not to believe?
The benefit and challenge of authenticity becoming more than a buzz word and an oft-used term is that businesses and people will be set up against a more serious standard than they may have been in the past. Personally, I welcome this challenge. If the little extra effort that will be required to stay authentic and live up to the standards that word sets will mean that the business world, or even the world as a whole, will be a better place, I’m all for it.
So, let’s say that being authentic does stick around for a while. What can we do to take advantage of this time? First, make sure you’re set up in your business to be open and honest with your clients. Second, if you weren’t very real in your business in the past, tell your clients things are changing, but only if you really mean it. Third, if you’re not planning on being authentic in business, don’t ruin it for the rest of us. Fourth, when you run across businesses who say they’re authentic, things should click and feel right to you. From your interaction with them, you should see and know that they’re not hiding anything from you or making claims that would be very hard to support.
The way I see it, being authentic is an option. If you don’t want to be authentic, no one can force you to be authentic. But I guarantee that being authentic is a better feeling, better resulting way to do business and live your life. What about you? What are your thoughts on authenticity in business?