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an enormous amount of research suggesting that emotional intelligence (EQ) is
critical to your performance at work.TalentSmarthas tested the EQ of more than a million people and found that
it explains 58% of success in all types of jobs.
with high EQs make $29,000 more annually than people with low EQs. Ninety
percent of top performers have high EQs, and a single-point increase in your EQ
adds $1,300 to your salary. I could go on and on.
it to say, emotional intelligence is a powerful way to focus your energy in one
direction with tremendous results.
there’s a catch. Emotional intelligence won’t do a thing for you if you aren’t
recent study from the Foster School of Business at the University of Washington
found that people don’t accept demonstrations of emotional intelligence at face
value. They’re too skeptical for that. They don’t just want to see signs of
emotional intelligence. They want to know that it’s genuine—that your emotions
to lead researcher Christina Fong, when it comes to your coworkers,
“They are not just mindless automatons.
They think about the emotions they see and care whether they are sincere or
same study found that sincere leaders are far more effective at motivating
people because they inspire trust and admiration through theiractions, not just their words.
authenticity is important to them, but genuine leaders walk their talk every
not enough to just go through the motions, trying to demonstrate qualities that
are associated with emotional intelligence. You have to be genuine.
do a gut check to find out how genuine you are by comparing your own behavior
to that of people who are highly genuine. Consider the hallmarks of genuine
people and see how you stack up.
“Authenticity requires a certain
measure of vulnerability, transparency, and integrity,” -Janet Louise
Genuine people don’t try to make people like them.Genuine people are who they are. They know that some people will
like them, and some won’t. And they’re okay with that. It’s not that they don’t
care whether or not other people will like them but simply that they’re not
going to let that get in the way of doing the right thing. They’re willing to
make unpopular decisions and to take unpopular positions if that’s what needs
to be done.
genuine people aren’t desperate for attention, they don’t try to show off. They
know that when they speak in a friendly, confident, and concise manner, people
are much more attentive to and interested in what they have to say than if they
try to show that they’re important. People catch on to your attitude quickly
and are more attracted to the right attitude than what or how many people you
They don’t pass judgment.Genuine
people are open-minded, which makes them approachable and interesting to
others. No one wants to have a conversation with someone who has already formed
an opinion and is not willing to listen.
an open mind is crucial in the workplace, as approachability means access to
new ideas and help. To eliminate preconceived notions and judgment, you need to
see the world through other people’s eyes. This doesn’t require you to believe
what they believe or condone their behavior; it simply means you quit passing
judgment long enough to truly understand what makes them tick. Only then can
you let them be who they are.
They forge their own paths.Genuine
people don’t derive their sense of pleasure and satisfaction from the opinions
of others. This frees them up to follow their own internal compasses. They know
who they are and don’t pretend to be anything else. Their direction comes from
within, from their own principles and values. They do what they believe to be
the right thing, and they’re not swayed by the fact that somebody might not
They are generous.We’ve
all worked with people who constantly hold something back, whether it’s
knowledge or resources. They act as if they’re afraid you’ll outshine them if
they give you access to everything you need to do your job. Genuine people are
unfailingly generous with whom they know, what they know, and the resources
they have access to. They want you to do well more than anything else because
they’re team players and they’re confident enough to never worry that your
success might make them look bad. In fact, they believe that your successistheir success.
They treat EVERYONE with respect.Whether interacting with their biggest clients or servers taking
their drink orders, genuine people are unfailingly polite and respectful. They
understand that no matter how nice they are to the people they have lunch with,
it’s all for naught if those people witnesses them behaving badly toward
others. Genuine people treat everyone with respect because they believe they’re
no better than anyone else.
They aren’t motivated by material things.Genuine people don’t need shiny, fancy stuff in order to feel
good. It’s not that they think it’s wrong to go out and buy the latest and
greatest items to show off their status; they just don’t need to do this to be
happy. Their happiness comes from within, as well as from the simpler pleasures—such
as friends, family, and a sense of purpose—that make life rich.
They are trustworthy.People
gravitate toward those who are genuine because they know they can trust them.
It is difficult to like someone when you don’t know who they really are and how
they really feel. Genuine people mean what they say, and if they make a
commitment, they keep it. You’ll never hear a truly genuine person say, “Oh, I
just said that to make the meeting end faster.” You know that if they say
something, it’s because they believe it to be true.
They are thick-skinned.Genuine
people have a strong enough sense of self that they don’t go around seeing
offense that isn’t there. If somebody criticizes one of their ideas, they don’t
treat this as a personal attack. There’s no need for them to jump to
conclusions, feel insulted, and start plotting their revenge. They’re able to
objectively evaluate negative and constructive feedback, accept what works, put
it into practice, and leave the rest of it behind without developing hard feelings.
They put away their phones.Nothing
turns someone off to you like a mid-conversation text message or even a quick
glance at your phone. When genuine people commit to a conversation, they focus
all of their energy on the conversation. You will find that conversations are
more enjoyable and effective when you immerse yourself in them. When you
robotically approach people with small talk and are tethered to your phone,
this puts their brains on autopilot and prevents them from having any real
affinity for you. Genuine people create connection and find depth even in
short, everyday conversations. Their genuine interest in other people makes it
easy for them to ask good questions and relate what they’re told to other
important facets of the speaker’s life.
They aren’t driven by ego.Genuine
people don’t make decisions based on their egos because they don’t need the
admiration of others in order to feel good about themselves. Likewise, they
don’t seek the limelight or try to take credit for other people’s accomplishments.
They simply do what needs to be done without saying, “Hey, look at me!”
They aren’t hypocrites.Genuine
people practice what they preach. They don’t tell you to do one thing and then
do the opposite themselves. That’s largely due to their self-awareness. Many
hypocrites don’t even recognize their mistakes. They’re blind to their own
weaknesses. Genuine people, on the other hand, fix their own problems first.
They don’t brag.We’ve
all worked with people who can’t stop talking about themselves and their
accomplishments. Have you ever wondered why? They boast and brag because
they’re insecure and worried that if they don’t point out their
accomplishments, no one will notice. Genuine people don’t need to brag. They’re
confident in their accomplishments, but they also realize that when you truly
do something that matters, it stands on its own merits, regardless of how many
people notice or appreciate it.
Bringing It All Together
people know who they are. They are confident enough to be comfortable in their
own skin. They are firmly grounded in reality, and they’re truly present in
each moment because they’re not trying to figure out someone else’s agenda or
worrying about their own.
What other qualities do you see in genuine people? Please share
your thoughts in the comments section below as I learn just as much from you as
you do from me.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Dr. Travis Bradberryis the
award-winning co-author of the #1 bestselling book,Emotional Intelligence 2.0,and the
cofounder ofTalentSmart, the world's leading provider ofemotional intelligence testsandtraining, serving more
than 75% of Fortune 500 companies. His bestselling books have been translated
into 25 languages and are available in more than 150 countries. Dr. Bradberry
has written for, or been covered by,Newsweek,
TIME, BusinessWeek, Fortune, Forbes, Fast Company, Inc., USA Today, The Wall
Street Journal, The Washington Post, andThe Harvard Business Review.