In a recent episode of Let’s Fix Work, we had the opportunity to examine being authentic at work. That’s a really important topic to consider. We all have different roles in our lives, and it’s so important to be true to who we really are. But how do we do that at work? We need to be professional and deal with situations as they arise… but the key is to not lose ourselves in the process.
To help us navigate being our authentic selves at work, I was very happy to welcome Rana Stanfill-Hobbs, the Director of Insights at Ultimate Software (our fantastic show sponsor). She is also a very busy mom, step-mom, singer, songwriter, and, as she says, consummate learner. She is also the founder of Compass Credo, a website that helps people achieve their best lives and live according to their own set of values. How do you actually achieve the goal of being authentic at work? Rana has some great insights.
It is essential to have an open dialogue with people at work. Everyone is coming from different backgrounds and experiences. For example, if someone is trying to introduce new software at work, it’s important to know who the employees truly are so that their response to the new system can be anticipated. Rana notes that what is important is, “really creating the best environment so that people can flourish in whatever they’re doing.” Some people are very creative at home, and it is possible to be creative at work as well. This is the idea of recognizing what you are good at and how you excel. If creativity is your thing, then that needs to be expressed at work. When that is realized at the office, you will be able to do your best work.
Rana says that it is vital to recognize your imperfections and be honest with yourself; be willing to bring your entire self to the office as opposed to leaving part of your personality at home. That kind of separation is very difficult and taxing.
When you bring your whole self to work, you will be more relaxed. Often your impact will be seen not just in big things but the little things as well. Rana points out, “I think that if you put yourself into leaving people better or find a personal vision credo or mission statement… like an action thing, what do you want to do every day? I think that you then start to see the meeting is always in the minutia. It’s always in those tiny interactions, and that is how you make your role have impact. That is how your day starts to feel really important. And then you want to bring your whole self there.”
I am so thankful for my time talking with Rana. Our conversation brings up some very positive aspects of personality and good reminders to be who you are.
You are special.
You are an individual.
And your contribution at work is important.
As Rana says, “The more that you can be human, more authentic, and the more holistic you are thinking about life and the work that you’re doing, the better you can navigate all of this. The more powerful the connections are that you have with your customers, your colleagues, and with people in general.” So stay focused and true to who you are in your life, and that energy will have a positive impact at work too.
Ready to listen to my full conversation with someone who is an expert in the technology field, an incredibly strong woman, and someone who lives an authentic life? If so, listen to my conversation with Rana on this episode of Let’s Fix Work.