How Organizations Can Balance Authenticity With Propriety

It has become a common complaint that I hear from executives and HR teams in my consulting practice: inappropriate, sometimes even disturbing, behavior at work in the name of “authenticity.” One employee was rude to a colleague, and when a supervisor stepped in, the employee snapped back, insisting that they were simply being authentic. Another employee announced, “I don’t trust White people,” and explained that that was her “authentic self.” When I recently hosted a conversation about this idea on the social audio platform Clubhouse, every manager in the virtual room said they were facing this challenge. And at a corporate event, executives told me the last thing they want to do is encourage employees to be even more authentic. 

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