Being authentic is not an excuse for being a jerk. Yes, we all have bad habits that feel innate, but don’t claim “that’s just the way I work” when your behavior hurts or impairs others’ progress. Instead, face the truth and find ways to change your bad behavior:
* Find out what others think. You may not know what your worst habits are. Ask a trusted colleague what is difficult about working with you. Listen carefully, do not try to respond, explain, justify, or defend.
* Find an alternative. Next time you have the urge to misbehave, what will you do instead? Make a promise to your team or peers to act differently.
* Pay the price. Commit to a consequence for breaking your promise. Make sure it has a cost to you but is also constructive.
Adapted from “Authentic Leadership Can Be Bad Leadership” by Deborah Gruenfeld and Lauren Zander.