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Authentic Conversations

Updated: Sep 30, 2021

The Problem

All organisations have a culture that is impacted actively or inactively by the behaviours of people in the organisation, and especially so by the behaviour of its leaders. If you want to develop a healthy organisation, then a healthy approach to personal leadership that involves authenticity as a pre requisite is essential. The thing is, for many organisations it is not the policies or procedures that let down the culture, but the character and behaviour of the people, particularly leaders. Leaders set the tone for the organisation. Rather than pursuing health and authenticity in leadership, other drivers are left to determine the culture.

Pursuing authentic conversations

Authenticity is all about staying true to who you are, what you do, and who you serve. In leadership, it is important to be authentic with people you are leading. We recommend pursuing authentic conversations by establishing some ground rules that can be practiced by all, and modelled by the leadership.

To pursue authentic conversations, we recommend that individually and corporately there is a commitment to the following practices:

  1. Integrity – we are consistent and reliable, demonstrating our values through our actions;

  2. Honesty – we demonstrate respectful openness, contributing our thoughts and feelings;

  3. Transparency – we cultivate a climate of sharing our feelings, thoughts, fears and shortcomings knowing we can do so without fear of attack or defensiveness;

  4. Clarity – we are clear in our language use and avoid ambiguities or inference. We deepen our understanding by practicing curiosity and openness to the ideas of others;

  5. Focus – we are committed to living out our shared values and purpose, together seeking the best interests of the organisation first;

  6. Expectations – we prepare well when needed (pre reading of papers etc.) and adhere to the agreed and understood agenda (no surprises);

  7. Confidence – we see healthy conflict and difficult conversations as normal and a part of authentic relationship and challenge unhelpful behaviours, inviting and navigating differing views professionally while respecting personal boundaries;

  8. Appreciation – our attitude and behaviour toward others demonstrates acceptance and care;

  9. Trust – we practice the above behaviours with consistency and exhort others to do the same, resulting in healthy communication and trust being both present and evolving

Want to find out more?

Resolve have been helping equip, develop and sustain healthy Not for Profit organisations’ since 2004 and would love to talk with you further about how they can help your organisation prepare for tomorrow. Contact Resolve at or email the author David Bartlett –

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