Being Real - The Power of Authenticity

In our workshops and coaching with sales people, sales leaders and sales teams we spend a lot of time exploring authenticity. Of the five Go-Giver principles we share, The Law of Authenticity seems to be one of the most challenging, both for individuals and inside the cultures of organisations. 

Like The Rock in the compelling video below, many of us have leaned to play 'the part' in our professional lives. We flip the switch and go into 'sales mode' but again just like The Rock experienced early in his wrestling career, turning up as a fake version of yourself can create very real feelings of angst and stress; and what's more your clients can tell. 

They can tell and that niggling feeling that something isn't quite right about this person or this situation causes them to question your motives, undermines trust and creates the adversarial relationships that traditionally exist between buyers and sellers, which of course makes it less likely rather than more likely they will want to do business with you.

In psychology they refer to the feelings we get when our words, actions and behaviours are in conflict as cognitive dissonance, which is: 

The mental stress or discomfort experienced by an individual who holds two or more contradictory beliefs, ideas, or values at the same time, performs an action that is contradictory to one or more beliefs, ideas or values, or is confronted by new information that conflicts with existing beliefs, ideas, or values

In today's purpose driven experience economy it has never been more important to be real and to do so in each and every interaction. There can be no disconnect between how we relate to ourselves and our clients. In the same way that trustworthy people don't have to say "Trust me" we can't simply tell our clients how real and authentic we are, they are much smarter and sophisticated than that. We have to communicate and demonstrate it through our behaviours; and we need to do so constantly, genuinely and consistently. You simply can't fake being real. The really great news is, authenticity isn't something you need to learn; it's only something you need to embrace because at your core you already are your true authentic self. It can take some time to re-discover but there are few things in life more precious, so don't keep yourself waiting. 

The most powerful thing you can be is yourslf
— Dwayne 'The Rock' Johnson

Ian J Lowe is the Founder & CEO of eccoh, a sales transformation, coaching and consulting organisation pioneering a movement to change the way the world thinks about sales.