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How Leaders Can Promote Authenticity Without Conflict

Understand what lies between authenticity and harmony

It is not always easy to show your true self at the workplace with a sheen of professionalism while navigating expectations. But amid ongoing shifts in how people perceive work, discussions about authenticity are on the rise.

Authenticity in the workplace—the idea that it’s possible to work in a way that matches your values and worldview—has been a growing talking point because it’s widely believed that it can help to improve career success and job performance. It’s more than just a concept; the latter point is supported by a flagship 2001 study published in the Academy of Management Journal.

The challenge of authenticity is that when everyone shows their true selves, they reveal their quirks—and those quirks can cramp the style of others, or betray social norms. That can create tensions and conflict that can be difficult to manage.

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