Emotional intelligence is that extra “something” in all of us that’s intangible, but significant research suggests that those of us with higher levels—a personal competence that keeps us aware of and able to manage our behaviors and tendencies—fare better in the workplace.
Perhaps that’s why, according to TalentSmart, which tested the EQ of more than a million people, people with high EQs make $29,000 more annually than people with low EQs. In fact, 90 percent of top performers have high EQs, and just a single-point increase in your EQ adds $1,300 to your salary. Suffice to say, EQ is indeed a powerful tool in our toolboxes.
That said, our EQs don’t prove beneficial unless those around us believe that we’re genuine and our emotions are indeed valid. A study from the Foster School of Business at the University of Washington found that people don’t accept EQ at face value—we’re a culture of skeptics. So how do you carry yourself with authenticity? To follow are eight habits of genuine people.
1. Genuine people don’t try so hard. A genuine person boasts a certain self-awareness and an ensuing comfort with that. They accept who they are, readily aware that not everyone else will. They’re not desperate for attention and, in fact, it’s because they’re grounded that they’re willing to sometimes make unpopular decisions in pursuit of what’s right.
2. Genuine people keep open minds. To be open-minded with a keen curiosity and a willingness to learn is to be genuine. Someone with an open mind exudes approachability because they’ve no preconceived notions of others and they don’t tolerate others who pass judgment.
3. Genuine people forge their own paths. Their sense of satisfaction doesn’t come from following the status quo; rather, they’re both inquisitive and explorative by nature.
4. Genuine people are happy alone. They live in the moment and aren’t restricted by friends’ fears, inabilities or apprehensions, or confined to their itineraries. They’re well aware that time is of the essence and thus, if they rely on other people, they’ll take on their setbacks as their own. If there’s something they want to do, they’ll do it with or without company.
5. Genuine people are generous and respectful. They’re team players who share knowledge and resources with others, especially those who need them. And, regardless of with whom they’re engaging, they always do so with manners. They’re confident enough in themselves that they can accept the fact that they’re no better than anyone else.
6. Genuine people are not motivated by material things. They value experiences and time over money and things. They don’t need the latest tech to be happy; rather, they look to surround themselves with friends and family to create memories.
7. Genuine people practice what they preach. They aren’t hypocritical and don’t say one thing and then do the other—largely because they’re highly self aware.
8. Genuine people are trustworthy. They’re honest and stick to their word with regards to both their work and their relationships. They're individuals of high integrity.
AnnaMarie Houlis is a multimedia journalist and an adventure aficionado with a keen cultural curiosity and an affinity for solo travel. She's an editor by day and a travel blogger at HerReport.org by night.