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Posted on Feb 19 2024 by Bobbie Kelly

Research finds that being ‘authentic’ can drive up patient outcomes and improve staff wellbeing

Staff who “speak their minds, say what they mean and demonstrate beliefs and actions based on their core values” are more likely to perceive positivity from their team’s performance.  

That’s according to major research led by Dr Paul Stankard, Clinical Director of the St Andrew’s Healthcare Learning Disabilities and Autism division.

His study paper – which involved surveying more than 300 members of staff at the mental health charity – has been published in the Chartered Management Institute (CMI), which is a professional institution for management.

Dr Stankard said his research found that “authenticity” is the driver for all positive outcomes in the workplace and those who manage their teams authentically can expect “genuine and honest behaviour” from their colleagues and staff.

He said: “Authenticity is essential for building trust, fostering meaningful connections within your team and promoting self-expression and also for enhancing overall wellbeing. I have also discovered first-hand how this approach can also lead to more positive patient outcomes. Additionally, another major and important finding in the research we found is that true authenticity makes a huge positive impact on staff psychological wellbeing.

“The main factors influencing employees’ perception of how authentic someone else is are heavily linked to the “relational” aspect of authenticity – that is, how we behave with others. Likely because authentic relationships are powerful drivers of trust.

“For example, the employees in my study felt that others’ willingness to speak their minds, say what they mean and demonstrate beliefs and actions based on their core values were most integral to a sense of authenticity. Employees who felt able to “get on with team members more when I can be myself” and “be true to myself within the team” also reported a significant positive perception of their team’s performance.”

What does being authentic mean anyway?

  • Authentic leadership covers qualities such as frankness, integrity, transparency and high ethical conduct. It all starts from self-awareness. Here are the four components of authentic leadership:
  • Self-awareness: Knowing who you are; being aware of your own values, emotions, goals, knowledge, talents, demotivators, strengths and weaknesses, and so on.
  • Relating to others: Showing your true self openly but appropriately; being truthful and honest; sharing your true thoughts and emotions and welcoming them from others; seeking feedback to improve interactions with others.
  • Balanced and unbiased processing: Objective, data-driven, ethical decision-making; considering all relevant information, whether others’ opinions or other information; making decisions based on your core values; analysing the relevant available data and listening carefully to differing points of view prior to making decisions.
  • Behaviour: Behaving according to your moral standards and values; demonstrating your personal values through action; admitting mistakes; seeking out views from others that challenge your deeply held beliefs.

To read the article in full, click here.