We talk about authenticity in relation to expression quite a lot. We can look at authenticity through various lenses. One lens we can use is referencing. Are we self-referenced or other-referenced?
When self-referenced, we are likely more authentic and less fearful of what others might think. This goes with a definition of authenticity that is tied directly with internal and external consistency. Is what is on the inside consistent with what we see on the outside? Do we “walk the talk?”
Being other-referenced, while perhaps admirable in customer relations programmes, doesn’t serve us that well when speaking as leaders. Being other-referenced, by definition (at least as per our definition above), drives us toward in-authenticity. We are doing, saying, being, what others expect versus what we are feeling, believing, passionate about inside. In our speaking, the difference is more obvious than most of us think. Somehow, the listener just knows.