Authenticity - Transparent Optics

Authenticity – Transparent Optics

Episode 63

We talk a lot about authenticity in social media, but what about authenticity in general. Are we transparent about who we are? What are the optics we show?

Host(s): Jonathan Saar from Market Me Social and Mark Howell from Howl Creative Concepts

Show Highlights

When you Google the word authentic, you come across many different definitions, for example: not false or imitation, true to one’s own personality, spirit, or character, or worthy of acceptance or belief as conforming to or based on fact. Many may feel they are being genuine. However, this article will show how quickly lines can get blurred in the workplace and on social media.

Key Questions/Topics Covered

Why are we obsessed with authenticity?

That may seem like a funny question, but it’s the new buzzword, so it needs to be asked. The world has changed, and people want real. They don’t want to feel that they are being upsold or fed lines. And this goes for everything. Personally, professionally and on social media.

Authenticity in the workplace

There are fewer things more frustrating than working with somebody who changes who they are, like a pair of socks. You never know what to expect. This is where optics become very important. Can you say you are truly authentic if one day you are everybody’s friend and hanging out and the next you are all buttoned up and purely business? Neither is wrong, but you need to figure out who you are and stick with it.

Social media and transparent optics

Social media in itself generally does not encourage transparent optics. People generally only post the good times. So you may ask, what does social media have to do with authenticity? Well, in today’s climate, everyone is online. We make connections daily, both professionally and personally. Are your posts a genuine reflection of who you are? Or are people seeing a disparity when they meet you in person?

Find your authentic self through transparent optics

The first step to figuring out how you want to present yourself is determining what you are willing to share. What are your boundaries? Once you understand that, then the rest will fall into place. If transparent optics is one of your goals, the first step is some of the oldest advice out there: Just be yourself!

Class dismissed!

Jonathan (00:16): Hello, everyone. Welcome to episode 63 of the Juvohub podcast. My name is Jonathan Saar, your host, and I am joined with me by Mark Howell from Howl Creative Concepts. What's happening, man?

Mark (00:29): Ah, you know, just here doing this work thing, man. I love our time together. I'm excited about this topic. It's a good one. I call it a juicy topic.

Jonathan (00:39): Yeah, it is a bit of a juicy topic. This one took us a little bit more to kind of sort through how we would present it. And even how to pronounce it. .

Mark (00:51): That's my bad. I can't, I can't say the word.

Jonathan (00:56): Authenticity. Authenticity. Authenticity.

Mark (00:58): Yeah. I had to practice authenticity .

Jonathan (01:00): Yeah, no, it's - I'm with you, you know, my wife, she can spell it upside down backwards with jelly beans coming out, her ears, and have no trouble.

Jonathan (01:10): It's got more than three or four syllables anyway. Anyway. No, it's a big word. And it's one of those words that it well, I mean, it's a buzz word. And so I think the purpose of today's show is not to set rules, not to say here's how to be authentic. It's it's really more to just have a good conversation about the, the bigger picture and have awareness and understand. And I remember years ago, Mark when social media was really, really coming alive back in, you know, late 2000 7, 8, 9, and there was a lot of naysayers saying it would, you know, come and go, but here we are today. And I'm not even gonna begin to try and count on how many different social platforms are available to people today. And it's only, it's only growing. So the idea is from this show is authenticity in social, but not just social media, just social in general. Like how are you social at work? And does that translate across and how you are as in your social media profiles? So let's kick it back just a second. And I'd love to get your thoughts on this, Mark. The word authentic, you know, what comes to your mind and how does that apply to our work relationships, our social relationships take it away.

Mark (02:58): Yeah, you know, so look, I love the word authentic, not authenticity because it's hard for me to say, but I do love the word authentic. And I love when people are truly authentic. I find myself drawn to those types of people. I find myself drawn to them in business and in friendships. And one thing that most people would know about me is I am who I am every day. I don't really change a lot about the way I speak or the way I act. I believe I'm pretty authentic all day long with it doesn't matter who my audience is. I also think it's very valuable. That we do talk about trying to maybe show your more authentic self to your employees, the people that work for you because that is what people are looking for today. So listen, you know, I think if we really think about this new generation of employees that are coming to the workplace, they're looking for an authentic boss, an authentic leader, someone that they can trust someone that is honest when they're interviewing you and your company, they're wanting that sort of that genuine feel.

Mark (04:09): I feel like, my personal opinion about this is long forgotten are the days of buttoned up corporate America, where you had to wear a tie and a suit. And, you know, you weren't really allowed to talk on your lunch breaks or everyone kind of did their own thing. And it was, it was all business. The world has changed and people are looking for a more authentic relationship. When I think about the word authentic and people that I run into either on social media or even in person, it's interesting to me. And maybe we will talk about this, about the difference that you project yourself to be one way on social media. What I see in your pictures or what I see you do, or where you are, makes you this, you know, optical illusion of this person, but then when I'm in front of you in person, that same person that I see in social media, isn't present that to me, makes me think what's truly authentic here. You know, if, if you are not that same person all the time, then I start to question whether or not someone is truly authentic. That's what it means to me.

Jonathan (05:20): Yeah. Yeah, absolutely. That's awesome. I love it. And I was just looking at the, just the basic definition and let me just read it from Miriam Webster's dictionary, authentic, genuine bonafide, mean being actually, and exactly what is claimed. So actually and exactly what is claimed. So that's a big responsibility on all of our parts. And, and I agree with you Mark it's unfortunate that, you know, on a personal level, like we have to do so much to, for instance, parents with children, they have to protect their children because there's a lot of people using social media that are pretending something that they are not, and it's a crime, that's a crime, right? So we don't wanna go into this. This is not a crime show. This is about property management and how we can better ourselves as industry professionals.

Jonathan (06:22): So the same challenge and obviously in a much smaller way is, can be presented with what we say, what we do online. I wrote a post years ago called don't drink and Facebook, you know, because you can really mess up your reputation, but that's where it comes down to. And I liked what you said about, you know, the person that you meet in, you know, in person for the first time at a conference. And what is, well, how it's portrayed on social networking and overall from my experience, it has just been awesome. It has been amazing. It is probably one of the more exciting things that I've connected with someone on LinkedIn. You know, I've seen some of the posts, I've see where they work and, then I get to meet them in person for the first time.

Jonathan (07:18): And it's just, it's just amazing. It's electric, it's, it's it's fulfilling because we want, you know, there's, you can have thousands of friends on Facebook and still be a super lonely person. So I, love that part of it. And I've seen unfortunately to your point too, where it's like, okay, you're not the friendliest person in the world. You know, you just there's there's, there's no, there's no energy, there's no chemistry. There's just a very, and again, I don't know the person, so maybe there's something going on in their world or whatever. I haven't got a clue in the world, but then there's obviously, there's just, there are those who are out there who are just on social media, only for personal gain. And if that's who you are, that's what's gonna come across. So is that being authentic? Sure. But it's gonna be, that's what's gonna be everyone's gonna see. And that's what your reputation is going to be like, if that's the approach you take to being, whether it's social media or if it's just social in general, you know, mm-hmm

Mark (08:38): Yeah. For me, you know, I've said this comment before I believe it was said by oh gosh, I'm gonna forget the woman's name. Who said this originally, once they show you who they are, believe them. Maya Angelou, I believe it was, but it's interesting to me when I think about that statement and I've lived by that statement for most of my career, that once you show me who you are, I believe you, it doesn't matter what you post on social. It doesn't matter how friendly you appear to be the optics change. And so then when the optics change, when I see you at your worst, when I see you publicly do things to other people, or say the things that you say, or be the monster in the room, it's hard for people to unsee that. Right? And so that becomes your authentic self.

Mark (09:33): That's what people walk away thinking, wow, that's really who you are. And so I think it's interesting this topic about social media and then just social in general, meaning in person two very different worlds. For me, and I don't know how many people I speak for when I say this, I don't put a lot of faith in what I see on social media. I know a lot of people call Facebook fake book and you know, and to some degree I might agree with it. I think that we, someone also called it the highlight book. It's like reading the cliff notes. You only get to see the highlights of someone's life. You know, the fun moments. You never really get to see all the dark times. And so if you're looking for authenticity on social media, I would guess me even personally, I don't, I wouldn't look for it there.

Mark (10:24): You know, I don't think I'll find it there. So when we think about being your authentic self, like, what is it that you're willing to portray to people when you are in front of them? Especially if you're a leader of people, for me being truly authentic, you have to pick a lane, you have to pick a side of the fence, either be that hard nose, like completely corporate it's by the book. I cannot be friends with you. I will not talk personal things with you or be that person that wants to create a nice fun environment for everyone to feel a little more relaxed, neither are wrong neither are right. You know, that's up to you in your organization. But I don't know when you, when you can't pick a side, I don't feel like I'm in front of a very authentic person, because I never know what side of the fence we're on every day when I come in, you know, it's confusing.

Jonathan (11:13): Right, right. And I like the word that you use, the optics it's, it's not so much how we perceive ourselves. Yeah. It's how, how other people see us and how other people perceive us. So, you know, it's, as we said, at the outset of this show, the goal behind this particular episode was to just talk about how authenticity, and again, this isn't really anything new. I think I've been teaching and talking about this subject for years now. And Mark, I know in your sales training, you talk about the same thing. Being able to, you know, just be real connect with people. And, but it never, it never grows old this topic because it's still out there, it's still an issue. It's still a problem. And from a social media perspective, people will say to me, you know, I just don't, I don't get it.

Jonathan (12:16): I don't get it. I'm like, okay. And it, everyone has to sort out what their method is or what they're gonna feel comfortable with. Everyone has their own, a different personality. That's what's amazing about the world, but there is a transition. If you want to make connections in social media or in a social environment at work, you've got to, you have to give, you have to give something to give of yourself, give of what you are. And if you're comfortable in doing that, that does eventually will come across and will showcase. And especially for, you know, for our audience, when you're thinking of what you wanna do with your career, this is a very important subject because reputations are very difficult to build that can be torn down in the click of a button.

Mark (13:16): Jonathan (13:16): You know, that's where your authentic self, you know, who you are. You want to be very, very careful and very, very disciplined about what it is that you're presenting. So it's not trying to hide anything necessarily, but all of us need to know what it is that we want to present. What, to use your word, Mark, what are the optics that we want everyone to see what is going to be on display? And it's not gonna be just superficial that it's, there's gonna be some depth to it.

Mark (13:54): Absolutely. I think when you are in an environment like ours, our industry is let's face it very free flowing. We're willing to be friends with a thousand people, two thousand people on Facebook, LinkedIn, whatever, and our industry for the most part can be pretty casual. That's why I've loved it as long as I have. My personality is perfectly suited for this industry because I don't have to be so buttoned up all the time. And I have worked for organizations that were too structured and too rigid and/or possessed too many unauthentic people in leadership. And I knew it wasn't the right culture fit for me. But I think that you made a great point, you know, what are the optics of what are you putting out there on social media, especially if you are friends with clients, if you're friends with coworkers, if you're friends with bosses, this is a no brainer sort of conversation.

Mark (14:50): It's like, you should be, like you said, don't drink and Facebook or Snapchat or whatever. Because the optics of that can skew people's view of how they will see you in the future. And then you become less authentic to them. I find this a lot with, you know, I know these are pretty juicy topics, but like religion and when people are sticking on or saying things on Facebook about, you know, a political view and I'm like, wow, that's not the person that I thought I knew, or you don't behave like that when you're out in public, you know, you've got all these, you know, things that you're saying all these passions, but yet it's not the same thing that's presented in person. And that's when I know, like, how authentic is this person truly being like, is it all just for show on social media or is that who you truly are? You know?

Jonathan (15:46): Right, right. So I guess that's the big takeaway for our fantastic, amazing audience. We'd love your feedback too. Yeah. You know, what are you doing? What are the challenges that you're seeing with, whether it's personal or professional when it comes to that word, authentic, authenticity? Or what has been some good best practices that you've deployed that have benefited you? And we'd love to share that, share that with the Juvohub community. So make sure, you know, on Instagram at Juvohub YouTube, or if you're a podcast person, you can subscribe to the show there, but we'd love to hear or see your feedback on this on this topic.

Mark (16:33): Absolutely.

Jonathan (16:35): Yeah. This is like, it's like the SIMO. I had this flashback of like Saturday night live, trying to remember the name of the skit was deep thoughts by uh-

Mark (16:46): . Yes.

Jonathan (16:48): Didn't we just have an episode on forgetfulness, too? Memory issues?

Mark (16:52): I know what you're talking about, it was deep thoughts by somebody. Was it SNL? Did you say, or now I can't-

Jonathan (16:58): Remember. Yeah, it was, is this, it was old, old Saturday night live. Yeah. But anyway, that was just funny, just some random, deep thoughts, but this was definitely a deep thought, deep thought topic, cause a very, very passionate topic too, because of what it means and in our reputation. So yeah. Great commentary. Thanks Mark. Appreciate that. Well, this concludes episode 63, talking about authenticity. Thank you so much for tuning into our show. We appreciate your comments and feedback, your connection, your support. Until next, time class dismissed.

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