Let me start off with a question: ever happen to talk with someone and get that feeling that they’re not telling you the whole story? We all have. In fact, it happens almost every day.
People have their own agendas and you really can’t blame them. If we become too transparent, others will start losing respect for us.
But what if other people’s lack of authenticity is not in OUR best interest? Then we need to do something about it. The first step is to spot them and act accordingly.
Why authenticity works
I remember a conversation I had a while back in a clothing store that blew me away. I was out to buy some jeans when these two huge guys walk into the store. At first I didn’t think they’re very smart. I was expecting the usual “I’m macho so I don’t need to talk” attitude. But my laughter soon turned to amazement when one of them opened his mouth.
He spoke to the salesperson in such a relaxed manner and with such authenticity that she was hypnotized. He tried several shirts on why the salesperson, a 50 year old woman, would do her best to tell him if they fitted him or not. He would talk loud, laugh and gesture without caring too much.
At some point he even asked her for a glass of water. Right after she told him where the water dispense was, he just went to the back of the store and got it himself. He acted like the store was his.
Authenticity works because it conveys that you’re telling the truth. It shows that you’re sure of yourself and that you’re not trying to impress anyone. Who doesn’t like people who speak what’s on their mind, people that are authentic and get what they want, when they need it?
How authentic are YOU?
OK, time for a personal assessment. I know by now you’re convinced that authenticity is very important and that you need to be as authentic as possible. But before you get where you want to go, you have to know where you’re starting from.
How authentic are you?
I want you to think about recent conversations you’ve had with people. Remember only those where you were trying to convince them of something. Maybe it was to go out or to buy a present for someone.
Now, do you remember how hard it was to convince them? Did they easily accept your idea or did it take extra time and effort to present your argument?
If it was hard, most likely you’re not perceived as an authentic person. Authentic people are felt at a deep emotional level and they don’t need to explain themselves to others that much.
Now give yourself a grade on a scale of one to ten. Please stay away from 7, as most people will give themselves a seven when they’re not honest with themselves. This is not your case.
What you can do to show more authenticity
I don’t know about you but I’ve had people lie to me on several occasions. Sometimes they were people whom I’ve known for years. As I’m growing older, I’m more and more skeptical of new people. This is why, whenever I feel that someone is honest, I feel that I can be more open to him.
Here’s what I did to become more authentic. I asked myself: what do I really want to say? What do I really want to convey? What’s the idea? What’s essential of what I’m about to say?
Once I started asking myself these questions, right from the get-go, my words sounded different. My message just came across better.
You see, part of the reason people aren’t absorbed about every word you utter is because your message is not clear.
Remove the friction. Remove unnecessary words and get right to the point. People will be hit by your words on a deeper level because there’s less processing to do. You will see the difference.