The Great Happiness Interview: How to Be Considered the “Real You” at Work
‘Matt Hancock wants to be seen as the real him by appearing on I’m Celebrity Get Me Out of Here? It’ll be interesting to see what happens when he leaves the jungle!’ laughs Adela Hussain, entrepreneur and founder of Pitch to Press, a consulting firm that helps people, especially women of color, build their profile, be more visible, succeed and happy at work.
“People are put off by celebrities — and companies — that aren’t authentic,” she explains. “We are now in the era of authenticity. The pandemic has lifted the veil on society. With Zoom Calls, we took off our work armor and literally peered into the real lives and living rooms of the people we worked with. It could only create a more authentic connection with our co-workers. Now that the pandemic is over, we still crave that authentic connection.
A consultant specializing in helping entrepreneurs and women of color increase their visibility at work and in business, Adela encourages her clients to become more visible and succeed by getting noticed.
Adela shares here how we can all stand out, be authentic and happy at work.
What is the connection between confidence and happiness?
Often people think that when they are more confident, they will become happier. But it doesn’t work like that. Do not wait to feel confident to seize opportunities. Opt for the opportunity to learn, grow and become more proficient. The more proficient you become, the more confident you will become.
What prevents people from putting their heads above the parapet?
Many of us have an inner critic who holds us back saying, “You’re not ready, you’re not powerful enough, you’re not attractive enough, you’re not smart enough. But it’s not just the inner critic.
Culturally, you may have been raised not to put your head above the parapet, you may be a victim of tall poppy syndrome, or there may be generational trauma or issues in your family about not wanting eclipse your father or your sister, for example.
Do not wait to feel confident to seize opportunities. Opt for the opportunity to learn, grow and become more proficient.
It is important to get to the root of what is happening in order to challenge those beliefs or thoughts. Ask yourself, what do you need to believe about yourself or the world to start mobilizing? What evidence and skills do you need to build to prove it’s true? Then start taking micro actions each day to start building your skills and confidence. Micro-action by micro-action, brick by brick, you can build the foundations of a new belief system and authentic confidence in your abilities.
What state of mind do we need to develop to make ourselves known?
You could spend your whole life waiting, thinking someone is going to tap you on the shoulder and say, “You’re ready for this opportunity.” Stop waiting. It is you who must decide that you are ready and take your place, be seen and be a leader.
Try affirmations every morning. Start telling yourself a new story. Stop putting yourself down and start supporting yourself. If you don’t support yourself, why would anyone else? Start telling a new story not only to yourself but also to others.
What do you mean?
If you want to be confident in promoting your business or promoting a new project at work, go out and practice making arguments to people who don’t really care, to people who aren’t invested in you or your business. When you collect your coffee from the barista, tell him what you do in your business or tell him what you build at work. Make a habit of talking about your business or your work in a positive way. Practice.
Go out and practice making arguments to people who don’t really care, people who aren’t invested in you or your business.
But we’ve all come across people who talk about themselves all the time and that’s a total disappointment…
Yes, it is very unpleasant when someone constantly talks about themselves. This often comes from a place of deep insecurity, as they usually try to overcompensate for their sense of unworthiness. So lead with your mission, not your ego. There is a huge difference between a person talking about their mission and something bigger than themselves. It’s inspiring – it comes from a place of passion and your authenticity shines through.
What if you don’t have a mission?
Find out your “why”. Why did you start your business in the first place or why do you work in your business? Who are you trying to help? Start there. Reach out and listen to your community or customers and connect and build your community by asking how you can help.
For example, my mission is to help women of color find a platform and be seen. For many of us women of color, the issue is visibility. You don’t see people like you in the media. So one of the things I’m doing is hosting a virtual summit where I’m bringing in 50/50 representation of women of color. We need role models, and we need to actively seek out those role models and put them in a place where they’re on a stage, sharing their journey, sharing their challenges, sharing how they did things so we can help others to do the same.
This is my mission and I can talk about it with passion from a very authentic place.
Intimacy means you are comfortable sharing the real you and personal stories about yourself. Trust increases when you can share your authentic story.
Why do some people shine in public and others don’t?
There’s something called the confidence equation, which is very useful to know when you’re about to step into the limelight. The Trust equation states that trustworthiness is equal to the sum of credibility, trustworthiness, and intimacy divided by a person’s personal orientation.
Credibility reflects your level of competence. You have to show that you know what you are doing. Reliability is how reliable you seem. Do you do what you say you will do? Intimacy means you are comfortable sharing the real you and personal stories about yourself. Trust increases when you can share your authentic story – let’s say something really difficult happened to you in your life and you share it with your audience, people will trust you more. Self-orientation? Do you always talk about yourself? What are your motivations, do you really care about others, do you have empathy?
It would probably help if Matt Hancock looked into this equation a bit!
How to handle negative feedback
- Accept negative feedback to happen. You can’t please everyone. Even if people respond to you negatively, you open up discussion and debate. This is part of the journey to visibility. You are going to have people who disagree with you. There is nothing wrong with that.
- Manage negative feedback by setting your limits at the beginning of your journey and be clear about which feedback is helpful to you and what you are going to consider. Constructive feedback is obviously very valuable. Constructive feedback comes from those who want to help you improve and grow and comes from a positive intention. Negative feedback can also help you learn and grow, but be aware that if you lead from your values, you will come up against people who have different values and backgrounds than you. And it’s OK to agree to disagree. Accept that others have a perspective on life that is different from yours.
- With trolls, if you can, have compassion. You don’t have to give them energy because trolling isn’t about you, it’s about them.
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