Ames Chamber of Commerce

Be Authentic, Both In and Out of the Workplace

Posted on 07/17/2019 at 09:00 AM by Guest Writer Guest Writer

Written by: Audrey Kennis, Retention Coordinator for the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences at Iowa State University, Lead a CHARGE 2019 Leadership Series keynote


For many people, a large portion of their day is spent at work, in fact, the average American will spend 90,000 hours at work over the course of their lifetime. You will spend nearly as much time with your co-workers as you do with your family. That said, how much do your colleagues really know about you? Are you able to bring your whole self into your workplace? Even as seasoned professionals, we sometimes silence our inner self based on an irrational fear of criticism or reprisal. This, we know, can stifle opportunities for growth and innovation which ultimately impacts personal, professional and organizational success. 

However, just like our home environments, we have to be willing to trust those we work with, as well as ourselves. Trust is a critical component in building strong collaborative teams. You have to trust your inner voice and empower others to do the same by fostering a culture of inclusivity. Good leaders embrace diverse perspectives and welcome authenticity.  We all see the world through different lens and in order to see the full picture we have to be willing to look carefully, invite new perspectives, embrace vulnerability, and allow for nuance.

How do you bring your whole self to the workplace? What barriers are in place at work that inhibit authenticity from you or others? How can you work to bring down those barriers? We’d love to hear from you!

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