The Power of Authenticity in Communications – by Oby Okeke

Authenticity is originality. It reflects in the originality of your thought and originality of communication. In today’s world saturated with all forms of messages, authenticity is an essential element in the business of communication.

Communication is an Art and Authenticity is its canvas. Whether you are speaking to an individual or to a group, the best element you can project is your authenticity. Let people see you clearly for who you are and hear exactly what you are saying. The more believable you are, the more successful you are at reaching your target audience. As long as your audience believe that you are genuine, they are more likely to be open to what you are saying and respect it.

Authenticity also comes in handy in areas of leadership.

As a leader, you should be candid enough to admit when you are ignorant, apologise when you are wrong and ask for guidance when you are unsure. You should embrace vulnerability enough to be open about what you know and what you do not know, and amenable enough to work with your team to work it out.

What Does Authentic Communication Entail?

According to Corporatecommunicationexperts.com, authentic communication is about:
Being true to yourself and other people, particularly the members of your organisation and the people you are communicating with.
Being open and honest and not avoiding difficult conversations, which will encourage your audience to do the same. This leads to successful outcomes.
Being comfortable to negotiate and say ‘No’ which will give your audience an opportunity to consider alternative options that will preferably benefit everyone.
Being comfortable with giving and receiving honest feedback. Honest feedback will help each member of the organisation to grow individually and professionally.
Finding your voice and having your say, at the same time ensuring your audience listens to you and respects your belief.

Why Does Authenticity Really Matter to an Individual?

Authenticity in communication shows intentionality. It tells your audience that you have a sense of
purpose and makes them more susceptible to trusting you and what you say.

The authenticity of the message and originality of your voice will get you all the sentiment and respect you need from your audience and/or clients. A lot of value lies in ensuring your audience can see and hear who you truly are through what you are truly saying, and with this, communication can never be more seamless.

According to communications executive Gail Thornton, authentic communication continues to be in demand within today’s business world. Regardless of whether the conversation takes place with a government official, an employer, or a business manager; the expectation is that all voices should be heard and respected. At all levels of society, people are expecting greater levels of humanity, understanding, and honesty from their leaders, which means that leaders must be engaged, committed and genuine in their thoughts and actions. What this means is that it is no longer so much about what is being said but the how and the intent behind it – are you being respectful of all parties involved? Have you given everyone an opportunity to be heard? Are you being genuine in your communications? Is your tone and manner of speaking courteous and respectful of your audience and their unique beliefs and values? Are you truly listening and genuinely taking what you have heard into consideration?

If you truly want to improve your business, build integrity as a professional and attain self-awareness as an individual, you should embrace authenticity. Anything less than that is doing yourself a disservice.

Are you being original in thought and communication? Is your manner of self-expression original to you or unique to you? Or are you just another copy, of yet another copy?

Own your voice. Avoid adopting someone else’s style, you erase yourself by doing so. And you can trust that there is a lot in you to be said, to be heard and to be embraced by the world and the world can only experience them if you express yourself authentically.

How Does Authenticity Help Your Business?

For New York Times Best Selling Author Neil Patel, today’s consumers are informed, keenly aware and socially connected, which means they are empowered to make decisions. He believes that companies need to keep some of these characteristics in mind to create authenticity:

  • Build identity and image of the company above the competition,
  • Enable consumers and other stakeholders to relate to the business,
  • Help people understand that what a company offers is of benefit to them,
  • Build the company’s identity and image, and
  • Give substance to a company’s business, which defines them as reliable and trustworthy.

All this helps a company increase engagement, turning audiences into advocates.

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