‘We know it when we see it, and we love the people who live it—the ones we can count on, always, to be brazenly, exhilaratingly themselves. In the age of spin and truthiness, authenticity is the real deal: speaking up for what you believe in, refusing to be ruled by the desire for acceptance, listening for the difference between the impulses that move you and the fear that holds you back.
Authenticity is funny, it’s provocative, it slices through the bull. In it’s company, you’re inspired to be truer to yourself.’ O’s Big Book of Happiness.
Lately I’ve been intrigued that this conversation about authenticity is such a hot topic. In the courses that I took with Landmark (see previous post on what it is here) we learned that the foundation of communication is being authentic. This education has been teaching ‘authenticity’ for years, it’s not a new concept there.
I like what Seth Godin said in his post about it; Authenticity, for me, is doing what you promise, not “being who you are”. Seth Godin
“The first thing that authenticity requires—and why the willingness to apologize is such a critical path to harnessing one’s true self—is a commitment to face the facts.
One of those facts is that we all make mistakes. When we do, we have a choice. We can confront the truth about our imperfection and apologize, or we can deny, defend, and stonewall. When we acknowledge the facts—including those that make us look bad—we are on the road to authenticity.”
The survey (in the above post) confirmed that customers who are willing to say “I’m sorry” earned more money—nearly twice as much—as those who rarely or never apologize. Stated another way, customers who earned more than $100,000 a year were twice as likely to apologize after an argument or mistake as those earning $25,000 or less.
It turns out that a customer’s willingness to apologize is a perfect predictor of their place on the income ladder. In addition, the relationships of those who apologize tend to be better (or at least longer-lasting) than of those who resist apology.
What does this look like for me in the design world?
Anytime I have breakdown–really anywhere in my life—but especially with a client on a job, I can immediately see where I’m responsible. I’m lucky that these types of breakdowns don’t happen very often because I am extremely detail oriented (which you have to be in this business) however, last year I was supervising a drapery installation and as soon as they went up, I could see that they were too green! They were supposed to be a butterscotch colour and they went up looking more greeny gold (the drapes below are the right colour, the lighting–must have taken it with the flash– still makes them look a bit more gold instead of butterscotch but you can see what I mean).
They were up for about 30 seconds before I said “I’ll be replacing those drapes!”
It’s funny, when I had brought the original sample over (her sofa and wall colour were existing, I was just there to pick out drapery fabric) I held up the small, 5” x 7” sample and thought “that looks like it has a green undertone but it’ll be alright?”
Alright? There is no such thing as close enough in the colour world? It either works or it doesn’t!! And of course, I would never try to pass off something that didn’t work anyways, because it’s my reputation that’s on the line!
So, my lovelies. . . how quick are you to apologize when you are wrong? I’m doing a poll.
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Happiness is. . . being Uncomfortable (when you pick the wrong colour)