There continues to be significant buzz on the importance of Emotional Intelligence (EQ) versus Intelligence Quotient (IQ) but how does one cultivate EQ? According to Travis Bradberry, co-creator of the EQ movement, one of the most critical steps is building authenticity.
Knowing particular facts and being able to easily recall them is a measure of IQ, but demonstrating EQ is something altogether different. It’s a knowledge resounding from gut-level intelligence. Without this, most cannot accept EQ at face value, according to a study from the Foster School of Business at the University of Washington. To find acceptance, it’s critical to have genuine emotions attached to action.
From an early age, most of us can tell if someone is being genuine. The same intelligence also alerts us to inauthentic emotions. This may be as simple as a smile that doesn’t reach the eyes or a gut feeling something isn’t accurate. As a result, inauthentic job candidates and employees who profess to be team players can be betrayed by their words and actions.
Indicators of Authenticity
It’s safe to say there will be times when we can be fooled by someone who seems to say the right things at the right time, but with practice it becomes easier to spot authenticity and model it for others.
- Being comfortable with yourself – An authentic person understands not everyone will appreciate them and that’s okay. Knowing your strengths and weaknesses goes a long way in having the ability to be true to your beliefs, no matter if they are the group consensus or not.
- Choosing to be slow to judge – Cultivating a self-comfort level can help you look at others with a less-judgmental eye. If you’re okay with being different, it’s easier to admire different qualities in others.
- Cultivating your own opinion – Our opinions are a mixture of personal facts, feelings and experiences. As a result, these may or may not match the opinions of those around us.
- Generosity helps everyone – Keeping what you know or have on hold from others builds resentment and anger. On the flip side, generous people share their knowledge and resources so everyone benefits.
- Radiating Trust and Respect – Cultivating a level of trust and respect is one of the cornerstones for knowing who someone really is. Instead of seeing someone behind titles and status items, you can see them at their most genuine and authentic.
Making it NOT About You
Authenticity is a willingness to put others and their needs before your own. This doesn’t mean becoming a doormat. It’s taking the time to show appreciation for others, listening to their thoughts and disengaging from technology in order to have a real conversation. In the midst of our quickening culture and technology overload these genuine moments will become more important than ever in demonstrating true authenticity.