How to be authentic and know when others are, too.

Last Thursday, I was fortunate enough to attend a private reception where Carla Harris (Morgan Stanley’s Vice Chairman of Global Wealth Management, a keynote speaker, gospel singer, and the author of two great leadership books) led a Q & A session and offered up her wisdom for everyone from sixth graders to college students and professional women on the leadership track.

I wasn’t sure of what to expect, but then, BAM, she spoke and I was immediately engaged.

She began telling us a personal story about a time when she was giving advice to her goddaughter on friendships at school and the entire room went silent, as we were all drawn into her conversation and did not want to miss a thing.

When Carla speaks, it is with such power and grace that you want to listen to what she has to say.

During the Q & A reception, an audience participant asked, “How can I work on being authentic, and how can I know if someone is being authentic with me?” Carla’s answer was simple, “By listening.”

She continued, “If you focus on that person and listen to what they are saying, it shows that you are sincere about the relationship; and if they don’t respond appropriately that is when you can tell they are not being authentic back.”

According to Carla, when you have the courage to be authentic and bring “the real you” to the table in business relationships, people will trust you. Authenticity is the key to building uniquely strong relationships.

Carla Harris, author of Expect to Win: 10 Proven Strategies for Thriving in the Workplace
Expect to Win: 10 Proven Strategies for Thriving in the Workplace, by Carla Harris.

 

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Ann Roushar

Ann joined Women’s Leadership Coaching, Inc. as Operations Manager in 2011. Her background is in events and program management, however, with the launch of Be Leaderly, Ann has discovered a new passion for the communications side of the business, including blogging, social media and graphic design. Ann’s vision for this blog is to make it a “must have” resource for women in business, a virtual space where women can feel comfortable about sharing their career wins, woes or worries. Follow @ann_roushar on Twitter.

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