Are you genuine and authentic?

genuine and authentic

Being genuine and authentic are much under rated qualities in the modern workplace however they are the foundation and essential to everything that underpins every success story.

I recently had the pleasure of delivering a keynote talk, the remit for which was to inspire people to change, create change and be open to change, in the field of inclusion and acceptance of others.  The fact that such a talk was required highlights the realisation that such humanity is required but perhaps has been given lip service before without much action to bring it about.

genuine and authentic connections

Throughout my adult life I have been unable to act in any other way.  Yes, it has sometimes left me exposed to machinations or being taken advantage of by others however I still prefer to remain the way I am.  I treat everyone I meet as though they do too and are being genuine and authentic with me in return.  It is with some sadness that I admit perhaps this is not always a universal truth.  However, what does gladden my heart is that there appears to be a shift back towards these ideals and the honest desire to now promote individualism and caring towards people as human beings, certainly within the financial sector I work in.

As one of my audience members put it: “The sharing of your experience has been truly authentic and this is not something that people can fudge. You have to be an authentic caring individual to have the desire to put your personal experience at the service of a wider community, to give people reassurance, strength, and hope. You have made me smile and cry in short distance and I felt very much alive!”

Being genuine and authentic is a strength

And there is the crux.  Revealing your genuine and authentic self is not a weakness, it is a strength.  It is not something to be feared but something to be celebrated.  Humanity comes in all shapes and sizes and exposing your true self can be scary but the more you do it, the more ‘human’ you are, the easier it gets and the more people will respond positively towards you.

The next time someone asks you; ‘how are you’ don’t just reply ‘fine’.  If it’s a good, or indeed bad day, tell them and why that is.  More importantly if you are the person asking listen to what the other says and if it’s appropriate perhaps offer a cup of coffee or a shoulder to lean on.  Take the time to appreciate each other as people and see them as a fellow human being with the same feelings, problems and desires as yourself.

We all want to be ‘successful’ (however you may measure that term) but sometimes it is forgotten that being genuine and authentic is actually a short cut towards that goal.

The Value of Positive Regard

positive regard and genuineness

Do you have positive regard for your colleagues and friends? It seems to me that today’s world is very good at tearing people down.  Everywhere I look if someone is doing well for themselves there are plenty of people looking for ways to destroy what they have.  Rather than saying ‘haven’t they done well, I am pleased for them’, there seems to be a concerted effort to dig up dirt from their past, decry what they are doing or attack their achievements.

positive regard not negativity

Praise rather than Criticise – Positive Regard is empowering

Unfortunately, I don’t think this is limited to the tabloids, celebrity or public life.  I hear and see very similar attitudes often expressed in workplaces, networks and boardrooms.  Luckily for me not arenas that I have to put up with for long periods of time.

We really need to think about utilising positive regard in commerce and our lives.

Positive regard surely has to start with having it for ourselves.  I appreciate how easy it is to slip into a negative attitude about our own self-worth.  We may hold back from expressing ourselves because we feel we’ll look an idiot or come across as an imbecile.  We don’t wish to lose face in front of our circle, colleagues or bosses.  And why?  Because we don’t want to open ourselves up to being attacked. Instead we snipe at others, but this is a negative way to achieve power. When you express positive regard rather than negativity it is empowering and usually makes you feel good!

However, the antidote to others negativity and feelings of low self-worth, and best shield I’ve found, is just to be your genuine self.

positive regard

Genuineness allows positive regard to flow

Genuineness is the ability to express our own feelings, thoughts and ideas irrespective of our insecurities or fear.  Genuineness is being direct, open and honest.  It doesn’t mean shying away from difficult conversations but it does mean dealing with them in an honest and open manner.

Sure, there will still be people who will take a pop at you or try to undermine you however you can trust me that being genuine always carries the day and at least helps you ride those particular waves of negativity. It is very difficult to be negative when faced with someone who is being genuine. It often triggers a positive regard as when you are genuine you tend to generously praise those who are doing well and that flows back to you.

And from genuineness comes genuineness reflected back.  If people feel safe and can trust your genuineness they soon open up their own to you.  And when this happens I’ve found it leads to better co-operation and a united front when trying to achieve things.

And the more of us that really take positive regard and genuineness into our daily lives perhaps that will have a knock on effect.  Imagine if corporations, governments, industries and financial constructs adopted similar traits how much nicer the world we inhabit would become.  Ok I’ll admit that’s probably a stretch at this point in time, but there is no harm in dreaming and I, for one, know how huge change can be influenced by the actions of only one person. Expressing positive regard rather than negatively knocking success celebrates the good in life.

So, go and take a good look at yourself in the mirror, repeat; “I am a worthy person who will show my genuine self” and then go out and be so.