At Halloween we enjoy putting on costumes and masks. At work, we sometimes assume roles. Doing so can have two opposite effects. It can undermine engagement — or promote effectiveness. The natural tendency to adapt in order to “fit in” can undermine engagement if we do it unconsciously and lose authenticity. But we can consciously shift our approach (e.g., from feminine to masculine) in order to be more effective Shifting in the latter way is no more inauthentic than speaking a foreign language in order to be understood,.
It is natural for newcomers to observe a group’s norms and conform their behavior. Adapting can be exhausting, especially if done unconsciously or for too long. But adapting our behavior is sometimes important for our effectiveness. If I “flex” to be more effective, I am not being inauthentic — any more than I am inauthentic if I try to speak French in a meeting in France!