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Authentically You

Are you the real deal? Do you come across authentically?   mask

Should I define what I mean? According to Dictionary.com, authentic is defined as:

Accurate in representation of the facts; trustworthy; reliable

Have you ever met someone who wasn’t authentic? How could you tell? Was it in the words they used, the tone of their voice, their body language?  Was it all three or did you just feel it in your gut?

One of the fears I think people in job search have is that they will come across phony.  When networking, they feel like there is a hidden agenda (to find a job).  At the core of networking, the very purpose for doing it is to build a relationship.  Sometimes that works, sometimes it doesn’t.  The key is to be genuine.

Here’s the fine line, being authentic versus being a jerk or being TOO you.

  • Know when to hold back. Expressing your strong opinions about politics, religion or philosophies in general, is usually not the best idea.  Does this mean you are being disingenuous?  Or does it just mean that you don’t have to lay it all out or confess deep dark secrets.
  • Being humble versus being self-ignorant.  There’s a difference.  You can know what you are good at doing and love doing and not brag about it or you could have no clue what is important to you (values, skills, traits, strengths, weaknesses).  Lacking self-awareness is a dangerous thing.  Figure out who you are and what makes you tick, both the good and the bad.
  • Give selflessly. Don’t hold back on sharing information that might help someone else.  Share.  I am so sick an tired of people protecting their turf.  We’ll all end up better in the long run if we give.

I’ve been talking about the emotions and thoughts, but you want to back up your authenticity with words….no, STORIES.  Stories are believable.  Stories are authentic.  What is your defining story?

Use words and phrases that are purposeful, not ad libbed (unless you’ve been trained in improv). Crafting the words, especially during job search, provides you with confidence and because each first impression is so important, you’ve ensured you are making the best one possible.

Speak from the heart and people will know.

Do you struggle with this? What’s helped you over-come the fear or uncertainty?

Comments on this entry are closed.

  • Jim Gleason February 10, 2011, 11:20 am

    Authenticity will always help your message. The people you most often connect with are the best storytellers, ones that leave you feeling good about yourself. One way I’ve trained myself to be authentic is to not pre-judge. This is difficult at times but if you approach everyone you meet as a person first, then a decision maker, you will find they will open up more readily – especially if you share. Another key to authenticity is to be truly seen as a person, this requires some risk as you are willingly becoming vulnerable. Human connections are made intuitively this way. Once I stopped fighting who I was, I became relaxed and confident in who I was rather than my abilities. Storytelling is really a craft and needs to be honed through patient practice and replication.

    • Hannah Morgan February 11, 2011, 5:40 am

      Jim,
      Great insight and thanks for sharing. It is so easy to pre-judge. We are all just people trying to survive in this crazy world.

      Do you ever find that you question how much of a story to tell, what details you’ll include and which ones you’ll leave out?

      • Jim Gleason February 17, 2011, 11:12 am

        I try to follow the guideline that every good story is structured with a beginning, middle, and end and also conveys an overall message. . . I always like to leave out some details to allow the other person space to make inferences, these associations will generate new ideas and you have now made a connection, created something new, and allowed the other person to participate in the story. The trick is to make it seamless into conversation as a dialog, where YOU have control over what direction you want the conversation to go. This will set you up for a call to action.

        • Hannah Morgan February 18, 2011, 7:50 am

          Jim,
          Yes, stories are great! This is an interesting perspective. It seems like you have a strategy that is working for you!

  • Tom Biviano February 10, 2011, 12:16 pm

    This is great insight and should be taught as part of schooling in courses on business, ethics, sales, sociology.

    Genuine works!

    • Hannah Morgan February 11, 2011, 5:37 am

      Hey Tom!

      I completely agree, it should be taught in schools! Thanks for stopping by!