Being Genuine

by Vicki on April 5, 2013

Last week, I had an interaction with a company that left a bad taste in my mouth. Their product was good but the manner in which they conducted their business was distasteful – at least to me. Their product is subscription based and I noticed they had renewed the subscription automatically on my credit card. I contacted their customer service and was told that when I signed up I agreed to automatic renewals. This part was true and it was my fault for not reading the documentation more closely. But the part of their response that didn’t sit right with me was the amount of explanation in the email justifying their practices. It was technically correct, but it just felt dishonest. The real intent of their practice was to maximize sales, not to protect their customers and their explanations to convince me otherwise fell on deaf ears.

Fast forward a couple days and I was in the midst of doing a yoga session. The class was online, it was free, and the instruction was impeccable. The problem was that the more of the class I did, the more irritated I felt. Maybe it was the difficulty of the class, maybe I was in a funk…..but after some thought, I realized it also had something to do with the approach of the instructor. Her class was full of great poses and really good flow but her comments were trite and the impression I was left with was that she was not enjoying the session one bit.

These experiences left me thinking about the idea of being genuine in our interactions and how not being genuine can have immediate and lasting negative repercussions for how we are perceived.

According to

gen·u·ine [jen-yoo-in]


1.possessing the claimed or attributed character, quality, or origin; not counterfeit; authentic; real: genuine sympathy; a genuine antique.

2. properly so called: a genuine case of smallpox. from pretense, affectation, or hypocrisy; sincere: a genuine person.

4.descended from the original stock; pure in breed: a genuine Celtic people.

In the last decade “genuine” has become something of a buzzword. But I think there is more to the concept than just being the word of the day. I think our ability to detect whether or not someone or something is genuine is a fascinating and truly practical skill that humans have developed.

Think back to a time when you knew someone was BSing you……can you easily pinpoint how you knew they were not being genuine? My guess is not. Figuring out why a person or interaction is not genuine seems on the surface to involve both verbal and non-verbal subtle cues. Somehow we “just know” something doesn’t add up.

For my next post, I’m going to spend a bit of time looking into the concept of being genuine – I’ll report back on what the current literature has to say about the concept as well as how current thinking on “genuine-ness” can help us with our relationships and communications both in our business and personal lives.

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Charlotte April 8, 2013 at 3:25 pm

Trudy i am not sure what brought me to your blog today however, I really enjoyed this blog. Thanks!

Vicki April 8, 2013 at 4:07 pm

Glad you enjoyed it! Thanks for taking the time to comment.

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