Authenticity & Transparency – Reveal a Crack in the Veneer

Ever meet someone who seems borderline robot-like in their mannerisms? Kinda Stepford-ish?

{via Google images}

{via Google images}

A work friend and I were recently chatting about a mutual connection. We agreed on her dedication to her work, level of commitment and polished, poised and professional image.

But there was something we just couldn’t put our finger on that raised a red flag for both of us. Something causing us to not fully trust her. Upon further reflection, it became crystal clear what it was.

My friend said, “There’s just no crack in the veneer.”

Wa-BAM. That was it. Our mutual friend appears to be too perfect. Always flawlessly put together, smile on her face, positive/upbeat/happy mood, and seemingly over the moon enthused about every project no matter how annoying or outrageous the request. She doesn’t reveal any dirt, dish, or opinions of her own that might ruffle a feather or show any real, raw feeling or emotion.

Broken

In business we’re taught not to run around wearing our hearts or emotions on our sleeves. However, we all know people like this, and it can feel like the person isn’t being human. Which makes it feel like they have something to hide. Causing us to not fully trust them. It leaves a gap between us and them, keeping people at a distance.

A large portion of what I speak, teach and present about is personal branding and confidence building. Authenticity and transparency are key elements of a solid personal brand. For as used and abused as those two buzzwords have become, they are still two pillars of people who “get it” versus people who don’t.

The old sales saying, “People buy from {hire/work with} people they know, like and trust,” is cliche because it’s true. If you don’t let me see something real, how can I KNOW you? If I can’t KNOW you, how can I RELATE to you? If I can’t relate to you, how can I begin to TRUST you?

Therefore, how can I buy…YOU?

Like it or not, at the end of the day, most business is about sales – we “buy” the other person – meaning we trust them – or we don’t. This nugget applies whether we’re talking job interviews, dating, friendship or hiring a pet sitter.

I’m working on showing more vulnerability myself. As a recovering perfectionist, it feels uncomfortable at best, but I’ve gotten feedback from friends, co-workers and family that when I allow them to see “messy Kammie”, {translation; frazzled, passionately worked up, funky or unsure} they feel like they can SEE the real me {translation; are able to connect, relate, TRUST}.

I vow to “keep it real” if YOU do. Here’s 5 quickie ways we can flex those vulnerability muscles and infuse a little more authenticity into our interactions and relationships:

  1. Share a dark & scary moment with a close friend or trusted family member. You don’t need to blast your Facebook wall and announce you’re having a moment of vulnerability to the world. Just stretch a little and reach out to ONE person. Let them see you in your moment of ickiness. It allows YOU to pull down that mask of “It’s all good“, and it allows the other person to see the REAL you. It can draw you closer to the other person & strengthen your connection. {Win/win}.
  2. Ask for help. In this world of DIY, it’s easy to say, “I got this,” when you could really “get by with a little help from your friends“. Reach out or accept offers of help when they come to you. Your task? Pick one lucky pal and request help. Could be hanging a picture in your new home, changing a tire, or requesting help from a colleague on an overwhelming work project. Just DO it.
  3. Reveal and revel in the real you. Show your bed head, morning face, after workout glow, or fresh out the box you! These brave women shared their “morning faces” with xojane.com for this editorial project.  Could you be this brave and boldly show up without makeup/hairdid/dress-up/accessories? Maybe let a new friend or lover see you before the layers get added. {I’m gonna try this one}.
  4. Speak your truth.  I recently went on a few dates with a fella and in our conversation dropped a comment about “speaking my truth”. He looked at me like I had three heads and asked, “What self-help book/program/guru did you hear that from?” {Clue #1 as to why we ain’t dating anymore}. I told him this was a core value of mine & meant it. I work this one on. the. daily.  If we can’t say what we need to say, what’s the freakin’ point? Honesty + integrity = character. Be who YOU want to be. Step up. Step into it. Own it. BE it.
  5. Stop worrying about what other people think. I’m leaving this one to the grandaddy of flying your freak flag…the fabulous Dr. Seuss:

Be who you are and say what you feel because those who matter don’t mind and those who mind don’t matter.”

Why fit in when you were born to stand out?

Today you are YOU, that is truer than true. There is no one alive who is Youer than you.

Are you up for the challenge? I’m in if YOU are! Let’s all show a little more “crack in the veneer” and share {even just a little more} of our authentic selves. Keepin’ it real is the new black.

Can you dig? What did you find helpful in this article? Show some love on the Facebook page, drop a comment below or please share with your favorite peeps! xxxo ~Kammie

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