A few years ago, I was working with a young adult client and as I was trying to make a point, I realized I had gotten off track and said the exact opposite of what I was trying to convey. Quickly, I backtracked and said, “and that’s a great example of what not to do.”
I’m not sure what the client got out of that coaching session. Hopefully, he ignored my rambling and took away the values that I was trying to impart. The thing is, there is this condition called “foot in mouth,” and I’ve got a case of it time to time. We as leaders, look to the great speakers and think that we need to emulate them…that, if our delivery is perfect, if we read enough books on leadership, then we will inspire our team to new heights.
I’ve got some news for you. You aren’t THAT PERSON. Don’t misunderstand me, you’re unique, special, and talented, but you are not that specific person that you’re trying to be, and you never will be. The beauty of humanity is that we are all unique and with that comes the need for us to all find our unique styles. People can be fake--no one wants to follow, much less trust a fake. Lean into your own strengths and style. Trust me, people will be much more willing to buy in to you and what it is you are trying to do.
I ran into that same client three years later at a coffee shop. He told me although he had been through several coaching programs, he valued ours the most due to the fact it was the most human and we weren’t afraid to be ourselves, to be authentic and vulnerable.
Be you, because you can’t be anyone else. People will trust you more and be more willing to follow you.