The Power of Personality Workshop

How do you know where to draw the line between being your authentic self and being professional. There’s a limit as to how much of your full personality you should bring to the office, but how do...

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I like this question and imagine others have thought about this too at some point, especially if they have intent on moving up the ladder. Being authentic, in my opinion, is your best bet for getting ahead in business. If it doesn’t, then you’re at the wrong place, in the wrong position, industry, or working with the wrong people. Life’s too short to be anyone other than your authentic self.

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likehelpfulsmartuplifting
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Well, as a person of color, there is no greater balancing act. Your co-worker can carry an eight ball in her purse, but if you say you’re from (insert any non white neighborhood) then you come from a family of drug dealers. The sad truth is you can’t control perceptions, humans come with lots of bias thoughts, so if you have the freedom.. just be yourself.

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Was about to say something very similar. Sometimes authenticity in an environment where others can’t relate adds a layer of unnecessary bias to you

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To be honest I’m pretty much myself but more optimistic at the office. A lot of my sarcasm comes through and I still discuss my favorite things but I just curse less and stick to one topic at a time 🤷🏻‍♂️

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Why is there a limit? I’m my full self at the office. Very extroverted. Joke around a lot (obviously PC), wear bright colored clothes, just generally try to have a good time. It’s part of my brand.

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likeuplifting
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Guess you’d just have to meet me to find out 🤷🏻‍♂️ I always encourage others to be open and themselves, it’s just more real and fun that way

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Perhaps very unique to me, but as a gay immigrant, I wasn’t really able to be myself when I was in consulting. Felt like I had to fit in to the culture of bar drinking / sport watching (very frat ish), which I never really experienced growing up, in order to be considered as somebody who’s good at ‘team building’ or ‘networking’. After moving to the industry with a Co that heavily emphasizes on inclusion, I feel like there isn’t much expectation on how you supposed to act after work. I actually became a lot more comfortable with myself. I am 100% out now, and a lot more extrovert than before and joke a lot more than when I was in consulting. I feel like I am a lot more productive in doing my work and working with teams. So I agree with few others that if you find the right place, you really shouldn’t have to worry about showing your personality as long as you are not offending others or be mindful about your jokes in the office...

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likeuplifting
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Interesting you mention that. My workplace also celebrates the culture of drinking and sport watching which I am not into either. That separates me from the place big time. It’s like I don’t have a single topic of conversation with 90% of my coworkers. I am straight, but those are the things that “a real man” are supposed to like

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I believe that if you are at the right place you shouldn’t have to worry too much about showing your personality. It shouldn’t be much of an issue. But if you are at the wrong place, you will need to wear the “fake suit” to the office more often than not. And let me tell you this: trying to have a control all the time over what you say or you don’t, or the way you react - it’s simply exhausting. I know it because I have been for too long in a place where I don’t belong. I have tried for long time to suppress myself by bottling up my emotions. It just doesn’t work. It’s like a pressure cooker. I am just playing the game for as long as I can until I can find a better fit.

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likehelpful
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What is EY? :)

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A couple of thoughts ... A) being yourself, showing up with your “whole self” is so important. But there is a difference between being yourself and disrupting the work environment. Early in my career I had to learn that the hard way. I was attempting to be myself but I was also distracting others. This probably had more to do with being immature than being myself. :-) I had to make adjustments and start to ask the question what is being myself in this specific environment. Almost the same way one might ask when visiting family or friends or other communities. B) I agree that organizations whom put an emphasis on culture and inclusion typically have less “sports-only” type activities/culture. I’ve found there are more people frustrated with that phenom than expected. Even some of the guys that fit the stereotype are often frustrated. What’s unfortunate is many of the “go to” habits fuel it. So going to a sports bar for happy hour is often going to lead to taking about sports. Obviously it doesn’t have to but the environment plays a huge impact. I know of one office that did some events at museums. One had a run club. One did a cereal eating happy hour in the morning. These take more time and creativity but it leads to different types of conversations. Different types of bonding

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honestly, if you’re a minority / poc, it’s called code switching, and we’ve been doing it all of lives! nothing more to that!

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I’ve learned the hard way that honesty is not always the best policy, at least in terms of perception or longevity. That being the case, I couldn’t forgive myself if I compromised who I am.

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Always be authentic just limit what you share about yourself. Professionalism should always be front and center.

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No idea. Still.

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You should read existential psychotherapy by Irvin Yalom.

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Agree with many of the other comments here. Think about how much time you spend at work. More than half your waking life my friend! At the end of the day, You just gotta be you. If you feel you have to draw the line, and bring some compartmentalized version of yourself to the office, it suggests the work culture is not right for you and is holding you back or weighing you down.

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Always always come original

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Gauge the reactions of people around you. You can be authentic and still reserved, same as you can be authentic and overshare or make people uncomfortable. How much do you want people to know about you? The more they know the more they can judge at their leisure. But the more they know, the more you may also be able to connect with good people. To be safe - I’d say less is more when trying to impress, courtesy/politeness are always valued, a little mystery adds allure. Those tips will get you by until you know who you’re working with well enough to be comfortable being yourself around them.

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