3 Ways to Lead With Sincerity

If you’re trying to increase your credibility, strengthen your executive presence and make a bigger impact in a leadership role, an underrated trait to develop is sincerity. When you can cut through all the noise that often accompanies high level decision making, you’re not only more effective as a leader, you also save everyone time. Here are three ways you can be more sincere in the workplace.

1: Speak the hard truth. Oh my gosh, if I had ONE piece of advice I would give people – especially those in leadership roles – THIS would be it! Too many times, people shy away from delivering a tough message. Why? Because “the truth hurts?” NO! I would argue the complete opposite: not giving someone the very feedback they need - or the truth about how they are perceived - is not helpful. People need to understand what may be standing in the way of more effective performance. Coworkers, spouses, kids… each deserves clear, specific, actionable feedback to improve.

Speaking the hard truth about what’s happening in the business is important. Helping others see the bigger picture (that maybe only you can see) helps employees rally. I’m not advising disclosing confidential information, or sharing inappropriately: what I am saying is to provide information. Set things in context. Help people understand the WIIFM (“what’s in it for me”) of a given situation. Your ability to share the truth will set the stage for increased engagement, loyalty, candor and - ultimately - better performance.

2: Be consistent. You can’t be a leader only in the good times or only when the company’s financial outlook is rosy. You are a leader all the time - 24/7. When you’re as willing to share negative feedback as positive, when you share the good news and can set context around the bad: that is leadership.

3: Be transparent. For me, transparency and sincerity go hand in hand. A true leader is the person who’s willing to be vulnerable - to be real - with his or her team. Change is hard. Leading is hard. Giving voice to the challenges that YOU see in a situation goes a long way in allowing others to express their concerns.

By the way, I use the term “leader” here in its most generic sense. We are all called to lead in our roles – to lead from where we are. With sincerity (truthfulness, consistency, and transparency), we can all stand out as the leaders we are truly meant to be and empower our people and our organizations to perform at the highest level.

Priscilla Carruthers