Responsible Authenticity Includes Filtering! | #Leadership #PeopleSkills

Responsible Authenticity: Filtering Is Essential Not Optional

As authenticity becomes the power wow of the day, let’s not forget the element of responsibility. We must be responsible for the impact that our words and deeds have on others. For that reason, responsible authenticity includes filtering.

Responsible Authenticity: Image is mesh screen with sunset behind.

Responsible Authenticity: Filtering vs. Lying. Image by Quinn Dumbrowski via Flickr.

Image by Quinn Dumbrowski via Flickr Creative Commons License.

Responsible Authenticity: Filtering vs. Lying

Filtering considers the impact that our words and actions have on others. It isn’t lying. Filtering doesn’t cloud the issue. It doesn’t remove the truth.

Basically, filtering removes hurtful uncivil speech that insults others but still tells the truth. Lying delivers untrue information or withholds facts to create an untrue picture.

To be responsibly authentic, we must filter out:

  • Hate speech
  • Misrepresenting of opinions & perspective as absolute facts
  • Emotion that dumps and/or intimidates
  • Insults and degrading labels
  • Innuendo that disparages others
  • Unfounded accusations that blame without evidence

Value of Filters

Filters are valuable as they enable us to …

  • Honor diverse views and people
  • Communicate the essence of our message
  • Engage in civil courteous discourse
  • Overcome our personal bias to speak the truth to many people
  • Help others to hear our core message without the distraction of insults

Let us never think that insults and brashness are more authentic then thoughtful replies. Responsible authenticity includes filtering. Otherwise authenticity is nothing more than childish selfishness.

Responsible authenticity preserves the essence of authenticity — its trust building power. Responsible authenticity is not about shock value nor hate speech. Its about thinking before speaking and showing respect even in disagreement.

OPINION: Which builds more trust — authenticity or responsible authenticity?

Which would you rather be known for?

What other thoughts do you have on this topic?

From my professional experience to your success,
Kate Nasser, The People Skills Coach™

Related Posts:
Are Negative People Easier to Trust?
People Skills: Integrity & Authenticity

©2016 Kate Nasser, CAS, Inc. Somerville, NJ. I appreciate your sharing the link to this post on your social streams. However, if you want to re-post or republish the content of this post, please email for permission and guidelines. Thank you for respecting intellectual capital.

Kate Nasser, The People Skills Coach™, delivers coaching, consulting, training, and keynotes on leading change, employee engagement, teamwork, and delivering the ultimate customer service. She turns interaction obstacles into interpersonal success. See this site for workshop outlines, keynote footage, and customer results.

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7 Responses to “Responsible Authenticity Includes Filtering! | #Leadership #PeopleSkills”

  1. Susan Mazza says:

    I love this distinction of responsible authenticity Kate! I write an article a while back about how politically correct is not a four letter word. Someone objected to the example I used and verbally assaulted me in their comment. I’m all for having my thinking challenged but I draw the line at personal attacks. It’s likely that person believes they were just being authentic. They were missing the responsible part! I think we are seeing an assault on civility and have a concern for the impact of this election on our first amendment rights.

    • Kate Nasser says:

      Hi Susan,
      I totally agree with you. I do not allow assaults to appear on my blog posts comments. His verbal assault on you disparages him and proves your point!

      I also was driven to publish this post as I have seen people over the last year or more hijack the word authenticity into meaning say whatever the heck you please without regards for its impact. It is especially true during this election season.

      Many thanks for adding your voice here for responsible authenticity!

  2. Ric Evoy says:

    Hi Kate,
    I am Always Impressed With Your Advice. I Need To Practice This Advice You Give. Is There A Way I Can Practice Techniques Before I Get In A Real World Situation That Matters.

  3. Alli says:

    When I get really frustrated I’ve been known to say a curse word or two. I would never, ever in a professional environment say any of the words I’d mutter to myself in the privacy of my own home. Filters allow us to be responsible and respectful. When our words and actions are unfiltered, we put ourselves in the center of the universe instead of living and leading from a place of connection and commitment to success through relationships – not in silos.

    Will share, Kate! With you!


    • Kate Nasser says:

      Hi Alli,
      What a wonderful picture of the impact of unfiltered words and actions …. “When our words and actions are unfiltered, we put ourselves in the center of the universe instead of living and leading from a place of connection and commitment to success through relationships – not in silos.”

      You stated it so well. Filtering is about considering others needs and the essential connections for success.

      Thank you so much for adding this dimension.

  4. Hi Kate

    In my work with teams I sometimes include material on creating “psychological safety,” a term invented by Amy Edmondson. In describing ways to get there, I offer, in part, that “authentic, vulnerable” communication has two aspects: Open, direct, honest content and respectful, sensitive, sincere tone. In effect, it’s combining truth with care for another person that creates authenticity. This formula leads to questions. Are you sharing your truth in a way that communicates care for the other person, if it’s abrupt, uncivil, antagonizing, profane? If so, you likely won’t be heard; you’ll just get a defensive reaction or an argument. On the other hand, are you caring for another but without sharing your real truth? Is that, then, genuine care? In sum, are you communicating in the way you would tell your best friend something he or she deeply needs to hear?

    There are other aspects of creating psychological safety — this two part formula isn’t the only one — but it’s core to the process. Psychological safety, I tell people, in line with Amy Edmondson’s work, reduces the need to defend, and helps us be ourselves without a sense of risk. In turn, this facilitates ownership, insight, self- and team-knowledge and meaningful action. And usually those are the results people want to achieve.

    As usual, this is a great post about a true fundamental of effective communication and relationship building.

    All the best

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