What Does it Mean to “Be Yourself?”

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The results of this research, conducted by Francesca Gino, Ovul Sezer, and Laura Huanga, are particularly thought-provoking when considered in the context of emotional intelligence (EQ). Our authentic selves are not static—we naturally react to the people around us. For example, we raise our voices to a higher pitch when we talk to a baby or speak at a higher volume when we are with someone who is hard of hearing.

When it comes to professional interactions, those with a higher EQ are naturally better at reading and mirroring other people’s emotions. Therefore, the cognitive load of catering to another person is significantly less, and the interaction flows better. In the fast pitch experiment described here, it could very well be that those entrepreneurs who picked up on the judges’ cues and adapted their presentations accordingly ended up being the most successful. And it probably felt pretty authentic to do so. When we enter a high-stakes interpersonal situation, we start with different skill sets. Executive coaching is an invaluable tool you can use to raise your EQ and help you unlock success authentically.

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