In this paper, we introduce a brief and effective way to increase leader's perceived authenticity in the form of a values affirmation exercise. Personal values reflect what people consider as most important and ideal (Rokeach, 1973). As a result, values affirmation exercise where people are reminded of their values activates their ideal selves. In Experiment 1, we show that values affirmation induces the feeling of authenticity by activating the ideal-self. In Experiment 2, we show that values affirmation not only induces the feeling of authenticity but also help individuals convey felt authenticity to others and be perceived as authentic. In a leader-follower communication, we find that leaders were perceived as more authentic by audience members when they thought about their personal values prior to engaging in communication with them. Additionally, we examine the role of leader's communication skills in gaining perceived authenticity and find that leaders with good communication skills are viewed as more authentic. We also find that after values affirmation, leaders are viewed as authentic even when they lack good communication skills.
Ingram, Paul, Yoonjin Choi, Carl Horton, and Sheena Iyengar. "The Authenticity Challenge: How a Value Affirmation Exercise Can Engender Authentic Leadership." Columbia Business School, 2018.
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