Authentic at Work: How Being Authentic Can Help You Maintain Your Energy Level

Authentic at Work: How Being Authentic Can Help You Maintain Your Energy Level

15. nov. 2023

Recently, I read a book called "The Power Barometer," a management book written by executive coach Josefine Campbell on how to maintain or boost your energy level at work. It was packed with hands-on advice on how we keep our energy levels up, especially when facing the many challenges of the corporate world.

The Connection Between Energy and Authenticity 🔋

It is an important topic, as our energy levels are crucial in order for us to be authentic. Being authentic is all about making authentic choices and taking authentic actions, and we do not get around to doing that if we are exhausted and drained of energy. In fact, being authentic can energize you, while being inauthentic can drain you.

You may have experienced this in your own life. Sometimes when you are around certain people, you are drained of energy. Other times, with a different group of people, you are revitalized, and your energy level rises. At a fundamental level, the difference between the two situations is how easy it is for you to be yourself with a given group of people and how well they receive the authentic version of you. If you can be fully yourself, and the people around you respond well to it, then you gain energy. If you have to hold back and not be the authentic you or if people challenge you for being the way you are, then you are drained of energy. To use a humorous example: That's why you probably get more energy from hanging out with your friends than you do from hanging out with your in-laws.

In our private lives, we can perhaps more easily select the people we interact with than we can at work, so you could argue that we are actually at greater risk of being drained of energy in work-related situations. To use stereotypes, if you put sales and accounting into a meeting together, they may not leave that meeting room with renewed energy on their own.


Re-thinking the Personal-Professional Barrier 🧱

Traditionally, we might just chalk this up to being "part of the job" or focus on the fact that different job roles have different objectives, so energy-draining conflicts are inherent. Sales wants to meet targets; accounting wants to ensure payments and cost efficiency. But in her book, "Power Barometer," Josefine Campbell makes an excellent point about this. She points to the fact that we tend to separate things into two categories: Personal or professional. She also points out that this distinction is not entirely correct; rather, we should call the distinction private or professional and own up to the fact that everything is personal - including business.

If we accept that business is personal and that your energy level correlates with how authentic you can be, then it's time to consciously foster a culture of authenticity. As leaders, we might want to focus less on getting through the meeting points and agreeing on next steps, and instead direct some of that focus on the participants and their energy levels.


Leading with Authenticity: A New Paradigm 🔍

Next time you are leading a meeting, make sure that the first thing you ensure is that the participants are comfortable being themselves and expressing themselves. Also, make sure that someone's authenticity is not being expressed at the cost of someone else's. By being authentic and allowing those around you to be their authentic selves as well, you set the stage for an energy-renewing meeting.

Remember, an authentic environment is a requirement for people to feel energized. You cannot demand energy from someone who does not have it - that would be inauthentic.  So make sure your leadership make space for everyone to be their authentic selves and accepts others in the same way.


Tangible Tip – Cultivating Energy Awareness

Paying attention to the natural rise and fall of your energy is the cornerstone of maintaining your authentic self at work. Begin by tuning into your energy levels, acknowledging when you need to replenish. Whether it’s a brief respite or a brisk walk, the act of choosing what rejuvenates you is a practice in authenticity. The essence lies not in the activity itself but in your commitment to finding what genuinely resonates with you.

Recently, I read a book called "The Power Barometer," a management book written by executive coach Josefine Campbell on how to maintain or boost your energy level at work. It was packed with hands-on advice on how we keep our energy levels up, especially when facing the many challenges of the corporate world.

The Connection Between Energy and Authenticity 🔋

It is an important topic, as our energy levels are crucial in order for us to be authentic. Being authentic is all about making authentic choices and taking authentic actions, and we do not get around to doing that if we are exhausted and drained of energy. In fact, being authentic can energize you, while being inauthentic can drain you.

You may have experienced this in your own life. Sometimes when you are around certain people, you are drained of energy. Other times, with a different group of people, you are revitalized, and your energy level rises. At a fundamental level, the difference between the two situations is how easy it is for you to be yourself with a given group of people and how well they receive the authentic version of you. If you can be fully yourself, and the people around you respond well to it, then you gain energy. If you have to hold back and not be the authentic you or if people challenge you for being the way you are, then you are drained of energy. To use a humorous example: That's why you probably get more energy from hanging out with your friends than you do from hanging out with your in-laws.

In our private lives, we can perhaps more easily select the people we interact with than we can at work, so you could argue that we are actually at greater risk of being drained of energy in work-related situations. To use stereotypes, if you put sales and accounting into a meeting together, they may not leave that meeting room with renewed energy on their own.


Re-thinking the Personal-Professional Barrier 🧱

Traditionally, we might just chalk this up to being "part of the job" or focus on the fact that different job roles have different objectives, so energy-draining conflicts are inherent. Sales wants to meet targets; accounting wants to ensure payments and cost efficiency. But in her book, "Power Barometer," Josefine Campbell makes an excellent point about this. She points to the fact that we tend to separate things into two categories: Personal or professional. She also points out that this distinction is not entirely correct; rather, we should call the distinction private or professional and own up to the fact that everything is personal - including business.

If we accept that business is personal and that your energy level correlates with how authentic you can be, then it's time to consciously foster a culture of authenticity. As leaders, we might want to focus less on getting through the meeting points and agreeing on next steps, and instead direct some of that focus on the participants and their energy levels.


Leading with Authenticity: A New Paradigm 🔍

Next time you are leading a meeting, make sure that the first thing you ensure is that the participants are comfortable being themselves and expressing themselves. Also, make sure that someone's authenticity is not being expressed at the cost of someone else's. By being authentic and allowing those around you to be their authentic selves as well, you set the stage for an energy-renewing meeting.

Remember, an authentic environment is a requirement for people to feel energized. You cannot demand energy from someone who does not have it - that would be inauthentic.  So make sure your leadership make space for everyone to be their authentic selves and accepts others in the same way.


Tangible Tip – Cultivating Energy Awareness

Paying attention to the natural rise and fall of your energy is the cornerstone of maintaining your authentic self at work. Begin by tuning into your energy levels, acknowledging when you need to replenish. Whether it’s a brief respite or a brisk walk, the act of choosing what rejuvenates you is a practice in authenticity. The essence lies not in the activity itself but in your commitment to finding what genuinely resonates with you.

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