Tim Cook’s essay in Businessweek was a breath of fresh air, highlighting the importance of being yourself in the workplace. Cook felt it crucial to inspire others to be comfortable in their own skin. He went on to say that he has ‘the good fortune to work at a company that loves creativity and innovation and knows it can only flourish when you embrace people’s differences’.
Cook’s statement is brave and it is necessary. People should feel at ease with who they are – especially at work. And your customers love to see the real you. It’s time to drop the corporate nonsense and be yourself. You’ll probably find the results surprisingly rewarding.
You be you, babe
The first step to being yourself in business is knowing who that is. In telling your brand story you’ll find the personal is also the professional. People make up your business so listen to what makes them tick. What are your values? Business and personal? Sit down with your team and determine what’s important to you all. These are ours:
- Positivity (Get up for it!)
- Openness (Share honest thoughts, ideas and feedback in a supportive, safe
- Family (we’re a collaborative community)
- Supportive (We listen, learn, teach and help)
- Fun (You know what they say: all work and no play…)
- Be yourself. (Be approachable. Be there for each other.)
- Creative (In everything we do. Look at things in different ways.)
- No BS. (Say what you need to say)
- Excellence (We’re committed to going one step further)
The personal touch
Getting personal puts you ahead. After the Big 6 energy scandal and the banking crisis, the trend for corporates to drop the jargon and get rid of overly formal approaches that intimidate customers (or worse, deceive them into buying a product they aren’t sure of) has really taken off. Corporates are trying desperately to become local again and CS trends even indicate that ‘love’ is being incorporated into measurements.
Human after all
Show your customers who you are by ensuring your brand permeates your digital presence and talking in a language they can relate to. Use social media to post candid pics and use a more chatty tone. Use your blogs to get to know your people and processes more intimately and allow your users and visitors access to the ‘real you’. Video and images are an excellent way to show more of who you are.
Looking forward to Monday
At Giant Peach it’s key that our people can be themselves, whether that’s flexible working or the confidence to know that you can be open in your communication.
Work doesn’t have to come with that Monday dread; in fact, coming into work can be a positive and energising experience. Yes really. Being personal and authentic means being flexible and having that meeting face-to- face over a coffee, or taking the time to pop over to your client’s office to make sure things are running okay.
- Ask your people what they need
- Encourage them to take time out
- If you’re the boss, set the culture by leaving on time
- Understand different learning styles and work with them
If you’d like to be more you but you’re not sure how, drop us a line and we can talk about making things personal.