Join other C-Suite leaders who receive my weekly leadership email here.
People are over the era of seeing others act like they have everything in life figured out, and they’re tired of it in the workplace too. As a result, when consumers see companies being real and honest, they think, “Finally! Don’t talk to me like I’m a robot: talk to me like I’m a real person if you want my business.”
We are always evolving with the world around us, and it’s happening in business too. Here are three ways that people are seeking realness in contemporary work settings.
Using cuss words in books, branding, and marketing is more prominent now than it has ever been. So, what sparked the trend? Daniel Midson-Short says, “One of the things I learned a few years ago is that you have to speak in the voice of your prospect if you want them to pay attention.” Many of the books that obviously utilize cuss words as a tool are in the self-help genre, and Midson-Short highlights the usage of colloquial language as a strategy.
Now more than ever, people are seeking realness — more human conversations — and cussing is naturally a part of those “real” conversations. Think about when you’re with your friends: do you censor yourself when you’re being your most authentic? Probably less so. So why should you be any different in other aspects of your life?
We are redefining the meaning of “appropriate work attire.” Ideas of formal, business casual, and casual attire are evolving with the styles of different generations. Millennials emphasize comfort more than previous generations, evidenced in the development of clothing such as athleisure and “workleisure.” This generation still wants to present themselves as professional but we want to do it in a more comfortable way.
Because who likes to sit in uncomfortable clothing every day? Not a real person. While some may enjoy dressing up for work, most can’t wait to change into sweats and a t-shirt when they get home after a long day. Understanding that everyone has their own personal way to feel comfortable is the perfect example of how empathy is a strong advantage, especially in the business world. And this ties in with “real” human conversations and connections too.
Interviews are becoming less standardized and more about what kind of “fit” the candidate will be. There are plenty of articles online about the most common questions people will ask you during an interview, but more people are straying away from those basic questions and trying to get a feel for who the interviewee is holistically.
Human interaction and connection should be real and meaningful, and people want to be themselves, not only show one side of them (in this case, their “professional” side). Transparency fosters trust, and that’s how both the interviewer and interviewee determine whether they are a good “fit” for that position.
Expression is just a manifestation of this search for realness, whether it be cussing, clothing, or vulnerability, and people are moving towards “keeping it real” to continue the movement of humanizing business in this Human Era.
Feedback is very important to me, and I’d appreciate hearing your thoughts and insight. Are you seeing a rise in the use of cuss words in books, branding, and marketing? What does this mean to you?
Please connect with me on my social accounts @HilaryCorna and follow me on LinkedIn (even if we’re already connected). Thank you!