The Importance of Being Genuine

An old friend sent me an email this morning which I opened over my cooked breakfast. At a dinner party last night, she reported, the subject of blog writing had come up as some of the guests had aspirations to start their personal blog.  Life of Yablon had been cited as an example and its contents had been chewed over… while quaffing some fine wine, I’m sure.

Reading the email I felt a PANG. Not (as I used to) because of my hang-up cringe excuse for a career as a writer but because my poor neglected blog could hardly be called a regular soapbox nowadays. My voice (although He would hasten to deny that I have ever neglected my voice), my ex-day-job, my online home of constant self-indulgent drivel…. all seem to be a distant memory.

You see, the harder I have worked this year, the less I have had any time and energy for Life of Yablon– despite having promised Lord Y that the posts would keep on coming through thick / thin.

Of course, anyone who works in a fast-paced work environment will nod adamantly as I sit here and complain of the total creative drain I feel at the end of a long day. [Plus recently I’ve been re-cranking my middle-aged brain to tune into with 11+ Maths and English papers in my ‘free time’.]

But instead of droning on about the lack of time and inclination I have clearly been suffering, I wanted to report back on something really interesting I have learnt from my back-to-office work life. Observing curiously as those (much younger than me) integrate themselves into their daily grind, I have had a couple of revelations. Some are more academic than others, some are edgier than others but almost all are keen – keen to learn, have fun and move onwards and upwards in their careers. In short, normal kids in the media world.

Where I would have presumed IQ was all they needed to excel, I have instead noted that it’s more about their EQ – yes, that’s their emotional intelligence – as they set about managing clients/teams/media expectations. But there’s a further catch here…. EQ makes zero difference when those who are emotionally tuned in are not quite the genuine article.  Because genuine people don’t even need to try to make people like them. It’s that effortless quality we’d all die for and makes for perfectly powerful persuasion.

My next massive learning (and those who might work with me might be quaking here) is that I now have proof that authenticity requires a certain amount of vulnerability – crucially mixed with transparency and a healthy dose of integrity. If you really want someone to listen to the point you’re making, say it in a friendly way – concisely but with confidence–keeping it REAL the whole way.

So there you go. I’m writing less (here) but learning more (there) and all the time working out what works best in storytelling. So far it seems that a genuine attitude is much more important than knowing all the answers. So maybe my blog had a point after all…

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