Public Relations: Authentic communication: a must for successful corporate communication

Communication is most effective when it is authentic, remains honest and helps establish the truth. If communication does not occur or appears contrived, it can lead to misunderstandings, unjustified assumptions and negative results.

The impact of truth on communication

We have become increasingly sceptical as individuals. This trend can be attributed to our current communications landscape dominated by social media, where numerous unverified messages and uncontrolled amounts of fake news circulate.

Authenticity plays a central role in successful communication. “Effective communication hinges on truthfulness. It involves deciphering emotions via verbal, vocal and nonverbal cues such as body language and micro-expressions, ultimately seeking authenticity..” (Forbes)

Authentic communication is characterised by being honest with oneself and being able to express feelings and thoughts in an unadulterated, understandable, value-oriented and truthful way. It describes the endeavour to be genuine, honest and transparent in one’s actions and statements. With the right amount of empathy and emotional intelligence, authentic communication can build positive relationships with fellow human beings, employees and your audience. It makes it possible to promote motivation and commitment, build trust, improve the clarity and comprehensibility of the message, and strengthen relationships.

Authentic communication is clear and straightforward. When people communicate authentically, they are more likely to express themselves honestly and directly, reducing misunderstandings or misinterpretations.

Authentic communicators inspire and address people. Authentic communication also helps to resolve conflicts, as openness and honesty make it easier to approach conflicts constructively and find and communicate solutions.

Strong relationships, whether with colleagues, employees, investors or customers, are based on trust and mutual respect and are strengthened by authenticity and authentic communication.

People can intuitively recognise authenticity and appreciate honest communication. Authentic communicators come across as credible and, therefore, trustworthy. The resulting trust enables more effective, open and efficient communication, as misunderstandings and fears are reduced.

Authenticity makes messages resonate with your audience. It evokes genuine reactions and emotions, increasing the likelihood of leaving a lasting impression and inspiring your audience to take action.

However, authentic communication also involves practising a culture of error. Dealing transparently with mistakes and communicating them accordingly is an essential element of target-orientated communication by managers. This integrity conveys credibility.

Five tips for the practical realisation of authenticity

  1. Listen actively: give your counterpart your full attention and show interest in their needs.
  2. Be honest and transparent: avoid disguising your opinion or withholding information.
  3. Be open to feedback: accept constructive criticism and use it to improve your communication.
  4. Stay true to yourself: don’t pretend to please others.
  5. Show your emotions: authentic communication also involves a willingness to show your emotions.