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The Authentic Me

by Randall Craig on May 10, 2011

Filed in: Blog, Career Planning, Make It Happen Tipsheet, Management

Tagged as: , ,

Have you ever listened to a presentation and thought it sounded fake?  Or met someone for the first time, and thought they were different in person when compared to their emails?

Too often, we think that we need to be different people to different audiences:  the stern parent, the loving spouse, the “professional” businessperson, or the potty-mouthed armchair athlete.  As there is only one of us, when we take on different personas, we are actually making life difficult for ourselves – and confusing for others.  They think we are hiding something from them – which is correct: we are trying to be something we are not.  (No more so is this true than on the social web, where for years, people could hide behind the veil of anonymity, and “be” whomever they wanted to be.)

Writers have long worked hard at developing what they call their authentic voice. They realized that to be an effective communicator, they had to be consistent, and that their style of writing – and their content – had to be a personal reflection of who they were.  There was only one of them.

Of course, not everyone reading this is a professional writer.  But still, everything that we do write – from a Facebook comment, to a LinkedIn status update, to a blog post – is archived forever.  Not only are the words archived, but so is the personality who wrote them.  Speakers sound fake if they are not the same on and off the stage.  Writers write poorly if they are not the same in person as they are on the page.  Being the authentic you means being the same no matter the situation, or mode of communication.

This week’s action plan: Are you the same person at work, at home, and when posting in the Social Media?  Odds are that you aren’t; this week strive to become more authentically you – you’ll make a far  better impression, and it’s far easier.

Bonus observation: Too often, the gap between the resume/cover letter and the candidate who shows up for the interview, is huge.  Being authentic applies everywhere, but during the job search process it is especially important.

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Randall Craig

@RandallCraig (follow me)
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Randall has been advising on Digital Strategy since 1994 when he put the Toronto Star online, the Globe and Mail's GlobeInvestor/Globefund, several financial institutions, and about 100+ other major organizations. He is the author of eight books, including Digital Transformation for Associations, the Everything Guide to Starting an Online Business, and Social Media for Business. He speaks and advises on Digital Transformation, Digital Trust, and Social Media. More at

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