Are We Sincere When We Claim We're 'Authentic'?
by Adam Grant via +The New York Times
Remember when we used to refer to refer to 19th century chairs or renaissance masterpieces as authentic works meaning they were real and not reproductions. Authenticity
has joined the marketing and business lexicon.
We must be authentic - be our true selves.
Isn't that dangerous?
Adam Grant includes a quote from A.J. Jacobs who experimented with being totally authentic,
for a few weeks.
Mr. Jacob's conclusion?"“Deceit makes our world go round,” he concluded. “Without lies, marriages would crumble, workers would be fired, egos would be shattered, governments would collapse.”
I prefer the word sincere
to authentic as in:"Jane is a sincere person; you can trust her."
Also in the article, Adam points out that the level of "authenticity" depends on our level of self-monitoring
High self-monitors scan their environments for social clues and adjust accordingly, low self-monitors are guided by the inner states
regardless of circumstances.
Low self-monitors are perceived as being more authentic, more real.
Naked honesty can also be about self branding.
Profession curmudgeons and nasty comics do very well with just "telling it like it is."
I put more stock in the sincerity of someone's motivation than the "authenticity" of their brand.
As the author says: unless you're Oprah, 'be yourself' is terrible advice.