This series of blog posts is based on an article written by Travis Bradberry in Forbes titled “12 Habits of Genuine People.” Be sure to check out last week’s installment here.
Here is his list of 12:
- They don’t try to make people like them.
- They don’t pass judgment.
- They forge their own paths.
- They are generous.
- They treat everyone with respect.
- They aren’t motivated by material things.
- They are Trustworthy.
- They are thick-skinned.
- They put away their phones.
- They aren’t driven by ego.
- They aren’t hypocrites.
- They don’t brag.
In this blog, I would like to consolidate points 1, 2 and 7.
They are Trustworthy
What does it mean to be trustworthy? Mr. Bradberry writes in the original Forbes article,
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 that they say, and if they make a commitment, they keep it. You know that if they say something, it’s because they believe it to be true.
I would interpret his words for being trustworthy as having integrity. The dictionary uses the words “strong moral principles, moral uprightness, being whole, undivided” to describe integrity.
Bradberry says it’s difficult to like someone when you don’t know who they really are. I say it’s difficult to be influenced by someone who you don’t believe to have integrity. Without integrity (or being trustworthy) you have no ability to influence. Without the ability to influence, you have very little worth.
They Don’t Pass Judgment
I will once again go back to Mr. Bradberry’s words,
Genuine people are open-minded. No one wants to have a conversation with someone who has already formed an opinion and is not willing to listen.
Scott Fitzgerald said, “The test of a first-rate intelligence is the ability to hold two opposed ideas in mind at the same time and still retain the ability to function.”
Genuine people listen with the intent to understand and are perfectly willing to accept opposing ideas as both being valid at the same time. We talked about this in the last blog which described Genuine People as being “thick-skinned”, or in my words, comfortable in their own skin.
Genuine people are open-minded.
They don’t try to make people like them
This is the number one attribute of Genuine People identified in Travis Bradberry’s article.
We talked about Aristotle’s Levels of Happiness in our last blog. He identified Level 4 as Sublime Beatitudo: Providing blessings with such excellence and grandeur as to inspire great admiration or awe.
The words that Aristotle used for Level 4 were Truth, Love, Beauty, Unity (I’ve seen different interpretations the fourth attribute, but I’ve enjoyed the concept of Unity in terms of building great teams.)
I believe that one mistake made today is assuming that the first two, Truth and Love are opposite ends of a continuum. All too often people believe they can either tell a person the truth or love (offer them respect) them. However, they exist on different axes of the chart.
Think of Truth being the scale up the left side of the chart and Love being the scale along the bottom of the chart.
Low Truth, Low Love – Manipulative Insensitivity.
The receiver doesn’t believe the sender is speaking the truth nor do they exhibit any respect. It just feels manipulative.
High Truth, Low Love – Obnoxious Aggression
The receiver knows the sender is speaking the truth as they see it but with no respect. It’s just aggressive behavior.
Low Truth, High Love – Ruinous Empathy
The receiver may feel the respect from the sender but knows they are not getting the whole truth. This leaves them with an inability to improve.
High Truth, High Love – Positive Candor
The receiver feels respected and at the same time is given the truth they need to improve. This creates the ability to learn.
Genuine people want to help the people grow and develop. Genuine people want to grow and develop themselves. This requires both Truth and Love on everyone’s part. Simply getting people to like you doesn’t help and doesn’t work in the end.