Authentic and derivatives of the root word are on their way of reaching ad nauseum heights in the social sphere, however it’s a necessary principle for participants in the social sphere. Here is a four step process to being authentic:
- Know Thyself: Whether an individual or organization, it’s important to truly know your value and how best you can contribute this value to the community. Providing value, being part of the solution means you’re not part of the problem. Part of knowing thyself includes establishing a principle statement or mission, building a community or supportive network, and developing a policy that has boundaries of best conduct.
- Build Relationships: Participating in social networks requires a keen understanding and acceptance that it’s about relationships. Relationships begin with communication and social networks and media publishing tools are the communication tool of choice. Just like in physical situations, relationship building via social channels can be difficult, comprehensive, and sometimes down right baffling. Keep the faith and keep providing value.
- Let Go: Letting go is one of the hardest things for humans to do. We reminisce about the good ol’ days in hopes of recapturing the euphoria and hang on tightly to the bad moments that allow us to dictate our choices moving forward. Instead, let go of victim programs and move towards your goals.
- Disclose Relationships: It’s the law. More than that it’s one of the best and simplest ways to be authentic. Too many practitioners, advisors, marketers, whatever the title do not disclose their relationships. Following the lead of Chris Brogan, I created my own list of disclosures and communities. I update this list at least once per month and disclose my relationship in comments, status updates, and blog posts as often as possible.
Being my authentic self has a price. I’ve gained and accomplished much as well as encountered challenges, friction, and disagreements. There are lessons in all engagements and I embrace them with acknowledgements, adjustments, and the clear intent of continued growth and movement.