top of page



The quality of being authentic, real or genuine : not copied or false; true and accurate; worthy of acceptance or belief as conforming to or based on fact; true to one's own personality, spirit, or character


Authenticity at work is when employees feel safe, secure, and comfortable showing up as their whole selves. To fully show up authentically, employees need a deep sense of belonging and psychological safety.

Here are a few guiding principles that we can lean on to help us build this muscle. Here are six ways you can be a more authentic leader at work.

1. Practice Inner Work®
This first step might sound counterintuitive. But to truly show up authentically, it takes personal development. It takes getting to know yourself deeply and intimately, and understanding where you want to go.

To do this, you need Inner Work®. Inner Work® looks different for everyone. It maybe to write and spend time outside. For other people, they may enjoy meditation and mindfulness. And still, others do Inner Work® through yoga practice, a long walk, or journaling.

There’s really no “wrong” way to practice Inner Work®. But if you’re a company leader, you should encourage your employees to make the space for it.

2. Model inclusive leadership
A big part of showing up authentically boils down to inclusivity. Without a sense of belonging, your employees won’t feel psychologically safe or secure enough to show up as their whole selves.

As a leader, it’s important to model inclusive behaviors. Our data, cited above, found these components of inclusive leadership critical:

Relationship building
Employee recognition
Showing empathy
Making social connections
Encouraging participation
Reaching (or creating) alignment

With personalized coaching, you can tap into your workforce’s potential. By pairing your leaders with a coach, you can empower a thriving workforce. At its heart, it’s about helping your employees reach their full potential, but in a way that works for them.

3. Establish psychological safety
Psychological safety is the bedrock of authenticity. Without psychological safety as a foundation, employees won’t feel safe or secure to show up authentically.

Especially in virtual environments, we know establishing psychological safety can be a challenge. Think of ways you can create a culture of trust in your organization — and work with your HR team to pinpoint areas of opportunity.

This could mean that you need to establish a starting point, so you might consider rolling out an employee engagement survey. This step will take some digging into learning what your employees’ experience is in its current state. From there, you’ll be able to formulate a plan with set goals.

4. Ask for feedback
Employee voices need to be heard. Especially in a job market where employees are quitting in record numbers, feedback is critical.

Make sure your managers are regularly asking for feedback. This feedback loop can happen in regular one-on-one meetings, ad-hoc meetings, or even as part of the performance review process.

Regardless, it’s important to make sure there are platforms where employees can be heard. And beyond just gathering feedback, taking action on the feedback gathered is powerful. This shows you’re invested in your employees, value their perspectives, and want to see continuous growth in the company.

5. Show vulnerability
This doesn’t mean you have to share your life story with your employees. But you should be approachable — and lead with empathy. Lean on your emotional intelligence to help guide you. It doesn’t have to be oversharing.

Vulnerability is a strength. While it sounds intimidating, it can have wonderful benefits for both your employees and the organization. For example, caregivers have shouldered a heavy burden throughout the pandemic. If you’re a parent or caregiver, it’s OK to share that you’ve experienced some struggles, too.

All Hands In
bottom of page