Being Sincere Can Improve Your Career

Many years ago, I had the privilege of working with Angie. Not only was she hardworking, knowledgable, and supportive, but she was also a good cook. One day, she brought in a personal recipe to share with me. “I didn’t hold anything back, either,” she said as she handed me the paper.  When she saw my baffled look, she explained, “A lot of cooks will give you their recipe but withhold a key, secret ingredient. It gives them the ability to make it better than anyone else can.” That day, I learned that Angie was also sincere. Like Duke, the dog in those Bush’s Baked Beans commercials, my coworker was genuinely willing to share everything she knew for my success.

In your workplace, have you ever been faced with the opportunity to hold back a key piece of knowledge or secret method for conquering a task? Keeping it to yourself would certainly make you look better than others around you. But according to Dr. Travis Bradberry, author of Emotional Intelligence 2.0,  being sincere can improve your career in ways that keeping the secret sauce to yourself won’t.

At Amtec, we’ve long understood that emotional intelligence is an important factor for candidates to possess. Employees who have emotional intelligence are better team players, adapt more quickly, and contribute more effectively to the organization’s productivity, morale, and bottom line. However, demonstrations of emotional intelligence without sincerity aren’t worth a hill of beans. Dr. Bradberry asserts that your coworkers or those whom you lead are looking for actions to back up what you say. They’re motivated and inspired by authenticity rather than a few buzzwords gleaned from an emotional intelligence checklist.

What does sincerity look like? In The Importance of Being Genuine, Dr. Bradberry describes genuine people as those who are generous, treat everyone with respect, aren’t materialistic, don’t brag, and forge their own path. These sincere people aren’t hypocritical, don’t rush to judge, are trustworthy, have thick skin, aren’t ego-driven, don’t try to make you like them, and aren’t tied to their phones! It sounds a lot like love to me–not the romantic, candlelit kind but the kind where someone wants the very best thing for others, whatever that is.

Theodore Roosevelt wisely said, “People don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care.” A great way to show you care on the job is to help a coworker succeed at something you’ve already mastered. Not only will you benefit by feeling good about helping someone, but being sincere can improve your career when others realize you are a genuine team player.

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