Let me take you on a journey…..
I started to explore the idea of self-expression and how to improve it, in terms of vocalizing your thoughts/feelings in any moment or situation.
Then I asked myself, what is self-expression?
I did what everyone does when faced with a questions - I googled it. According to the Merriam-Webster dictionary, self-expression is “the expression of your thoughts, or feelings especially through artistic activities, such as painting, writing, dancing, etc.” It’s the way we display our individuality to others. To me, it also means having the FREEDOM to express these thoughts and feelings.
At home, I listen, I encourage and I empower those around me to lead their best life. I’m able to do this because I learned to be self-expressed. No, I don’t walk around saying, or doing absolutely anything to anyone at anytime. I do consider others feelings and appropriate action in any situation.
What I am speaking about is – being honest with myself about who I am and leading myself in a manner that reflects this. Allowing myself the freedom to ‘be me’ allows me to welcome and embrace others. There’s power within this space and it influences my relationships – personally and professionally. So then I asked myself, could the same self-expression occur in a corporate environment?
Imagine going to work and not having to hide your viewpoint. Being safe enough to express your perspective, knowing that it would be considered. Imagine sharing your talents and allowing others to benefit from your knowledge because you’re free to share. That sounds awesome!
Many people don’t ever feel self-expressed at work. They think they have to look and behave in a certain way. They have to say the right things at the right time. Most fall into some form of ‘follower’ or assimilate with others so they don’t stand out. This sounds terrible. My gosh, do you remember Lucy and Ethel eating chocolates off assembly line, in ‘I Love Lucy?” Their self-expression of silliness made the scene!
Are you now seeing - Everything Is Self-Expression
The reality is that everything is impacted by how free we are to express our authentic selves. A majority of our time is spent working, so why wait to get home to be self-expressed? Viewing work as an extension of self, means looking at whatever it is your doing or providing, as connected to you and others. The big question is: who are you? How do you want to be seen? If you, and others on your team, share all that makes you great at home, with one another at work – the potential is huge.
As we sometimes hold back our authentic self at work, there’s an opportunity to shift how we think. Consider building interpersonal creativity, where the immediate network of those you communicate with, is a composition of your own creation. This is the power of self-expression! As long as you authentically interact with people you have an opportunity to sculpt, shape and grow your relationships and lean into your leadership style.
With every conversation, meeting, email, text, Slack and IM, think about how it reflects on not just yourself, but most importantly the relationship and future communications between yourself and others.
Coaching others to be authentic leaders, allows them to create a safe space, where others can become self-expressed. This allows for the organization at large to be impacted by the shift, creating a productive and engaged workforce.
Every day I help clients become better at pausing, listening, empathizing and being authentic, while appreciating the self expression of others. I help them uncover those blocks and “have to’s” and then figure out what their authentic self is and how to step into that as a leader.
CREATE YOUR OWN EXTRAORDINARY BREAKTHROUGH
Discover how to embody authenticity and create lasting change in others in the leadership role you’re destined for.
Book a session with Paula Conkey Coaching