This is the third in a series of articles that will help employers better identify the candidates who are superior. What makes a candidate “superior”? Answer – living a life based on principles such as being responsible, committed, authentic, in-service, and in collaborative agreement. Besides being a benefit to employers, a candidate can benefit by assessing their understanding and application of these principles in their life. Let’s see how you, as the employer or candidate, “measure up” to understanding and applying the principle of being authentic.
To be authentic is to be true to one’s own personality, spirit, or character. “Authentic” is not being false. When a person conforms to who we know a person to be, we say they are authentic. Those who are two-faced, attempting to hide their true self, create distrust. People, in organizations who trust one another, work in a more flexible, productive, innovative, and flourishing environment than those who do not.
Being congruent with how you are feeling is authentic. For example, if you are angry and you “act” calm and reasoned while saying that you are angry, you will be heard as disingenuous. Saying, “I care”, in a matter of fact style, rather than a warm and heartfelt style, won’t engender a feeling in others that you actually do care.
Authenticity is About Integrity
Integrity is about being truthful, honest, and complete with yourself and others. Disconnecting yourself from your feelings when you communicate is incomplete. It’s not whole. You are only revealing a part of yourself. For example, you may try to be nice when you don’t feel nice.
Do you or the candidate demonstrate this understanding and application of “being authentic” in life? If a candidate is “authentic,” they are likely to admit they are nervous during the interview if they are nervous. Two-faced candidates will attempt to hide their feelings or data that they fear don’t make them look good. You want a candidate who you can trust to be authentic and to tell the truth. If a deadline is going to be missed, you want an employee to reveal that fact, not hide it. If they are fearful of looking incompetent and thus pretend to know how to do something, watch out!
Watch Out For The “Two-Faced”
During interviews, find out if and when candidates have demonstrated high levels of authenticity. Candidates demonstrate authenticity when they are comfortable with themselves. If they get confused about a question you ask, they will roll with it and admit it and ask for clarification, rather than act as though they cleverly interpreted differently. Too much effort to look good appears as stiffness and inconsistency. If you get the feeling you cannot “figure” this person out, watch out! Let someone else hire the two-faced person.
The next blog article will continue with discussing principle-based living. We will continue to explore another principle that supports being a superior candidate. Next, we discuss the principle of contribution and serving and how it’s a powerful indicator of superior candidates.