Most of us have a work persona and therefore keep our personal conversations at work at a surface level. This is because there are parts of ourselves we feel uncomfortable revealing to colleagues. The reason many workers hold back a big part of what makes them unique is to be seen as professional and competent.
However bringing our whole selves to work means showing up genuinely and leading with modesty. Taking into account that we’re all vulnerable at times and doing the best job we can.
It’s also about having the courage to take risks, speak up, ask for help, connect with others in a sincere manner, and allow ourselves to be truly seen. It’s not always easy for us to behave this way, especially at work. It takes commitment and courage for organisations to create environments that promote and encourage authenticity and humanity.
If we decided to reveal more of who we really are at work – how would our work places be different? What would the impact be on the people we work with?
It’s possible that when we don’t bring our whole selves to work we suffer personally via a lack of meaningful engagement, and potentially this leads to a negative impact on our own wellbeing. We then are not able to do our best because we spend too much time trying to ‘perform’ and say the right thing. Therefore in organisations, this makes it difficult for the team to thrive and perform at their highest level because people are holding back some of who they really are.
MHFA England have started a campaign called ‘My Whole Self’ it encourages us all to be honest about who we are in the workplace, by doing this we can better understand each other, embrace diversity and create a healthier working culture built on respect and collaboration. It’s better for everyone’s mental wellbeing and better for business.