Tess Sloane on the Core Value Authenticity



Tess Sloane, on Authenticity.

With lots of talk these days on a company's core values, defining your own core values and living in to them, I recently had the opportunity at Earls to reflect on what mine meant to me and how they show up in real life. 


For me, Authenticity is a state of being and a practice. It is that moment in your life when you stop trying to please everybody and settle peacefully into your own skin and who you were truly meant to be. Simply put, it is the courage to show up and let yourself be seen.

For me, it took a long time to find that place. I grew up as one of four children, I always felt the pressure to achieve, stand out in some way, make an impact, and make my parents - who were new immigrants to Australia, proud. It was an unsaid expectation that I was to make something of my life.

I spent a lot of time looking for what that was. I spent years trying to fit in to different occupations, relationships and structures that were expected of me or that ‘looked good’ in the eyes of my family. I went to a university that my eldest sister attended and spent 95% of the time unengaged, bored and trying to hide the fact that I had no idea what I wanted to do with my life.

There was a restlessness inside me that I couldn’t ignore. It led me to pack a bag and travel across the world to Canada.

It was here in Vancouver that I have this distinct memory of being in my late twenties and having this feeling that I’d come home to myself. I felt like the most me I had ever been. I was in a fulfilling relationship, I had found my calling in HR, I had a great group of friends, life was flowing naturally and I didn’t have to alter who I was to flow with it.

It was around this time that I stopped looking externally for approval and understood that we all have our own path to live and our own adventures to take.

When we are able to silence the noise and listen to that voice inside, we start to show up as our authentic selves. Life begins to work. Really work. Challenges and pain still exist, but you are more grounded in how you manage and thrive during those times.

Being in HR & Talent Acquisition requires me to build trust quickly, establish rapport and create the space for others to share extremely personal and confidential information - that can not be done without me being able to embrace my own authentic self (the good and the bad) and let others see who I truly am.

Nothing thrills me more than working through a tough HR issue, or supporting an employee with a breakthrough in their performance, coaching a leader through a tricky people issue and getting to a great solution for the employee and the business. My authentic self shows up in these moments by being fully present and on the court with people, holding them accountable to their best selves, supporting them to make powerful decisions about their lives and how they show up, then closing out my day out with a sneaky glass of prosecco before rushing home to my sons and putting on the goalie equipment so they can practice their slap shots.

There is no part of me that I have to leave behind when I come in the door at Earls or when I switch gears late at night to work on Talent Lab. No conversation that I cannot have. And to me that is the definition of authenticity.

It is a true gift to be able to show up, just as you are.

Musings by: Tess Sloane, Talent Lab


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