I recently read an article explaining how to act in a way that made you seem more genuine. The whole premise of this article perplexed me. I believe the perception of a genuine conversation stems from truly being engaged and being interested in getting to know another person on a deeper level.
The thing I love most about what I do daily is having the ability to build genuine relationships. I love learning about what makes individuals unique.
- Why do they believe what they believe?
- What are they currently excited about?
- What are they currently facing that challenges them?
Part of getting to know the people that I am blessed to be introduced to is asking genuine questions that go beyond the surface level. While I do want to know about their spouse, kids, job…etc…I more importantly want to understand what their prior experiences have been and how those events have molded their life up to this point.
I will always fondly remember a particular encounter with an individual that I met a few months ago at Hubbard and Cravens on a quiet afternoon in Carmel. As I was enjoying learning about the life of this individual, he paused, mid-sentence, took a sip of his coffee and asked ‘what are you currently doing to continue your personal growth?’ Most often, I get questions about my profession, my family, my sister with Down syndrome…but this question was deeper. This question made me think about my set of beliefs. It gave me the ability to share things that were more personal than the usual casual conversation would require. I smiled as I gave thought to his question and began to answer.
Just a week earlier, in my journal, I had asked myself a similar question. Written boldly in red ink and underlined a few times, I challenged myself- ‘How am I making sure I am continuously pursing personal growth?’. Internally, I had been pondering this question over the past week. From this individual’s simple but thoughtful question, we were able to spend the rest of our time together in genuine conversation. We enjoyed learning more about each other based on what we were both doing and working towards in areas of life that go beyond surface level small talk.
Through the question that was asked, I was aware that he was fully engaged with the conversation. I understood that the pursuit of continuous personal growth was something that was important to him, as well. It gave us a commonality to build a genuine conversation around.
But most importantly, that simple question gave me awareness that he was just as genuinely interested in learning about me as I was about him.
There are no steps to take to emit a genuine nature. Only by being genuine in your desire to learn about someone new, will you to be perceived as authentic.
Ask questions that are intentional. Ask questions that are unordinary. Ask questions that make people think beyond surface level topics.
Don’t act genuine. Be genuine.
Article represents the experience and opinions of the author, Phillip Clark