What I like about this clip of Billionaire Warren Buffett is that he communicates in a way that is “Authentic“. But what does it really mean when we say someone is “Authentic”? It can be a tad on the esoteric side (as indeed can be the word esoteric, but anyway …).
“Authenticity” has been defined as “the degree to which one is true to one’s own personality, spirit, or character.” But to say that “being authentic” is “to be ourselves” is a bit too easy. After all, I might be “being myself” at my most self conscious or my most nervous or most guarded. So what do we mean when we say that someone is “authentic“?
I like defining “authenticity“as the version of ourselves that is the most communicative and passionate. Maybe it’s the version of ourselves over dinner with a loved one, talking passionately about the raise we just negotiated? Or talking about the baseball game we just saw? It may be different for each of us, but it’s worth asking “When am I authentic?”, “Who am I talking to?” “What am I talking about?” Then we can start giving ourselves permission to let “authenticity” permeate into our business communications. But how?
“Authenticity” is achieved by putting our attention ON the person or people we’re speaking to and OFF ourselves, and then speaking from a place of passion. This takes practice. A Working Voices presentation skills class or 1:1 coaching session can help us to identify that best version of ourselves – our “authentic” self – and help us to practice being “authentic” so that it becomes a repeatable skill.
When I need inspiration, I often think of the following quote from my favorite Doctor:
Be who you are and say what you feel because those who mind don’t matter and those who matter don’t mind.