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How physicians can create a culture of authenticity at work

Feb 17, 2022

Authenticity has been a real buzzword lately, notably on social media where anyone can hide behind the façade of a manufactured identity. Even in our daily lives, people may look good and act kind without being genuine or authentic. As leaders of the next generation, we need to be cognizant that they are particularly sensitive to how genuine the “grownups” are.

Our fast-paced, convenience-based culture doesn’t help the situation either. When we say “How are you?” while passing by an acquaintance or stranger, do we really mean it?

In the high-conformity clinical environment, subordinates are seldom allowed differing ideas or thoughts. For example, they must laugh at their superior’s jokes, even if they’re not funny!

How can a team be fully effective and release their full potential if no one feels safe to be themselves?

6 ways to nurture a culture of authenticity among physicians

Here are some conditions for a culture of authenticity to thrive:

  1. Leader(s) being authentic
  2. Permission to be authentic (for yourself and your team)
  3. Safety for everyone to be themselves
  4. Valuing the contribution of individuals
  5. Voices—especially grievances—are listened to
  6. Opposing ideas are welcomed, regardless of rank or position

How’s your team doing in the culture of authenticity?

What are a couple of things you can do to effect some changes in that direction?