What’s the truth behind authenticity?

Written by CMI Insights Wednesday 08 February 2023
We asked managers how authentic they can be at work and one in ten said they could rarely be themselves – which could have catastrophic effects for your business
A man talking to another person behind a mask

One of the most important themes that has come up over and over again throughout the barrier-breaking research we conducted for The Everyone Economy is the importance of all team members feeling they can be authentically themselves at work.

Authenticity encompasses acting in a way that is true to your identity, values and beliefs. It banishes imposter syndromecreates a sense of psychological safety, helps you build your personal brand, not to mention the all-round benefits for mental health and building trust.

However, it’s not uncommon for people to struggle with feeling that they have to hide aspects of themselves in the workplace due to various expectations or concerns about judgement from colleagues or potential negative consequences. And it’s hard to perform at your best when you feel like you can’t be yourself.

To take the temperature of the CMI community, we asked whether you feel like you have to put on an act at work – and almost 2,000 people answered our LinkedIn poll…

This is what you said

Only 39% of respondents said they felt they could be entirely authentic at work – leaving three in five people holding something back about themselves in the workplace.

Keep reading to discover the results – and what it means for managers


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