Speaking authentically is a key task of leadership. People will doubt you if you can’t.
Charles Barkley is one of my role models for speaking authentically. While he spoke and acted authentically his whole career, I believe he changed markedly after handling the incident where he spit in the direction of heckling attendees and hit a girl. Until then, he could reasonably suggest you could see his incidents of bar fights and gambling from a perspective that justified his words or actions.
Here he couldn’t. His own mother and grandmother called him wrong. I think many people would have folded under the pressure and come out broken, bitter, self-righteous, or the like. Instead he learned. I believe the video below showed that he resolved his identity with his behavior and came out with more self-awareness and wisdom. I wouldn’t want to have to withstand nationwide public scorn, but I believe he used it to grow.
Watch this interview between to Hall of Fame basketball players:
Some other posts on speaking authentically:
- Your authentic voice
- The great masters of speaking with authentic voices
- Communications skills exercises, part 10: Your Authentic Voice
- Speaking authentically, Martin Luther King, Muhammad Ali, and Vietnam
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