Have you ever felt like you are pretending to be something (or somebody) you’re not in a business situation? Or left a business meeting feeling like your business partner didn’t ‘get’ you? Or had doubts that you are good enough, important enough or ready to play in the Big League?
If you have, then you are like most of us mortals.
Authenticity as a valuable soft skill that gets results
I put myself, my beliefs and my reputation into the world, physically or virtually, every single day. More often than not, I am successful at this… Success to me does not mean selling communication skills training or coaching or even consulting to every person I have contact with (although that would be welcome).
I define my success in terms of building relationships with others and helping others achieve their goals, all the while being authentic. I believe this last one is the linchpin upon which every communication and every personal interaction hangs, no matter which method the communication takes.
What does it mean to be authentic?
The Merriam-Webster online dictionary defines ‘authentic’ as, amongst other definitions, being “true to one’s own personality, spirit, or character”. Perfect. Because being authentic is going to get you results.
Most people want to work with / buy from / connect with REAL people, not someone with an agenda and a desire to win at all costs.
Here’s how being authentic in your communication can help you get better business results and ultimately, more success:
Connecting with people
Most of us network regularly, both at work and outside of work. And we know that by engaging others, we can make connections that may bear fruit in the future, for us or for our counterpart. Integrity, respect, honesty and the seeds of trust are important here.
Building business relationships
Once we’ve made a new business connection, either through LinkedIn, networking events or other means, we can start to build relationships through regular interaction, keeping in touch through written communication, follow-up calls, a walk down the hall, or using social media.
Creating a desire in others to help you succeed
Mutual success is a positive force. Our connections business partners usually want us to be successful. We can and should want the same for them, too. A pay-it-forward attitude multiplies our success exponentially.
Referring you to others
When the time is right, our business partners will contact us, because they trust us to provide the right solution at the right time. Often, they will refer others to us, knowing that we might be able to assist someone else in achieving their goals as well.
Closing the deal
When we keep it real, we build trust. When we build trust, our business partners will actually seek us out to provide the needed solution.
In the end, our authenticity will carry us forward, built upon our relationships forged through trust, honesty, and communication. A commitment to our beliefs, the highest quality product or service, and delivering results, are what will bring us lasting success.
How does being authentic in your communication affect your business success and your life? What other soft skills help keep you authentic in your communication? I’d love to hear from you.
P.S. I’m a regular LinkedIn user, posting my thoughts and sharing articles, being in involved in groups and networking with colleagues—are we connected yet? Check out my profile and let’s connect.
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