I had the privilege of meeting Julia Gillard on her last night as Prime Minister. Julia did a great service for women by breaking the highest glass ceiling left in Australia. If she was able to make it to the top, there are no excuses for anyone to say it is not possible to move up.
One of the criticisms that Julia Gillard gets a lot is the fact she doesn’t come through as authentic and sincere in her speeches. As a leader, it is essential that you are able to get people to connect with you. This is true whether they are in an intimate one-on-one conversation with you over lunch or just watching you speak on television.
People like being around others who they perceive as similar. If they have a hard time connecting with someone, it is unlikely they will become big fans of the individual and are unlikely to offer their support.
So how do you become more real and authentic?
Speak from your heart and not your head! Too often people try to be perfect with their speech and lose sight of the fact that vulnerability can be a good thing when trying to build relationships with customers. All humans are vulnerable; if we wanted a robot to lead us, all we need to do is go watch the Terminator movies! The more people realise that you are capable of being vulnerable, i.e. human, the more they can relate to you as a real person.
The same principle also applies when it comes to online marketing. Consumers don’t care about the corporate ‘about us’ page; in our experience, is often one of the least viewed pages. That is because the content on this particular page can easily be fabricated. They want to see the real people behind the company; from the person who is picking up the phone to the CEO of the entire organisation. When you are not scared to put yourself in a vulnerable space by recording yourself for a website video or sharing your twitter account with your consumers, this is when trust is really being built.
Do you have any tips and experience on how to become more real and authentic?