How to be authentic in Networking
Evelyne Wilton
by on 19 July, 2016
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We have all had moments of inauthenticity. It can be difficult to maintain authenticity when you are uncomfortable or in a strange environment. You may think that the real you isnt good enough or you fear rejection. Instead of being the real you, you act as the person you think everyone else will like.


In some situation adapting to your environment is totally fine, however changing your personality to fit is NOT.  You arent being authentic. People might see you are phony, fake, insincere, pretentious etc which is not a compliment but rather a turn-off. 


Ultimately, people are attracted to authenticity. It makes us feel comfortable, safe, and respected. We want to be around and associated with authentic people. Here are four techniques that help you be your most authentic self, even in uncomfortable situations.


Awareness: Be aware of your own insecurities, do your feel comfortable in a situation, at a networking event. If you are not, ask yourself WHY. Do you feel intimidated by other people who are more successful, are better communicators etc.? Be more observant and self-aware will give you understanding why you might feel this way. 


Connect with the right people: Find people who you can genuinely connect with. They are like-minded, they have something in common. Seek to truly understand the people you around you. Ask thoughtful questions, and listen intently. By developing a genuine understanding of and connection to the people you are with, you are more likely to feel genuine and authentic yourself.


You are not perfect: We will never be perfect, we are being perfected as we walk this journey of confidence. Dare to show your vulnerability, share your story, people genuinely feel connected if you open up to you real you. We don't need perfect stories, we need real stories, someone might so relate to your story and you be surprised how you can help that person in a big way. We call that inspiration.


Be Present: Be an active listener. Be present, and don't let your mind wander when you are in conversation with someone. Have eye contact when you speak, and acknowledge important parts of the conversation. Mastering the art of presence perhaps is the single most effective way to ensure authenticity in any situation.


Evelyne Wilton lives in Sydney, Australia, has been a branch director since 2014 in the Hills District. She is the CEO and Digital Strategist for 7Secondsmarketing, Executive Director for Australia Brazil Chamber of Commerce.