Thanks to my friend’s generosity, last week my family went to the new Ritz Carlton at Northstar in Tahoe after spending the prior week camping in the dirt. We left directly from the campsite. We pulled up in our dusty 2001 station wagon. I felt I was trapped in a National Lampoons Vacation movie, cast as the goofball that was Chevy Chase’s character. The bellman smiled sweetly at our over-heated car. He happily helped unload our bags, sorting through the cooler, lantern, and sleeping bags. Once he got us to our room I said “Thank you, Gabe.” He looked at me and said sheepishly, “Actually my name is Eric. I just couldn’t find my name tag.” Funny how a moment of truth endears you to someone for life!
We Admire Authenticity
As the days passed, I mused how much I admire that trait of authenticity. My friend’s dad, Jim, was exactly that way. The “realness” just oozed out of him, making him loveable, trustworthy and someone you aspired to be. He was always himself: honest, loving, ambitious, unpretentious, and yet competitive. He knew who he was and what he wanted. When he didn’t, he let you know that too. That is what you loved about him.
Revealing, Creates the Relationship
Whether it is in business or on vacation, when we are comfortable sharing ourselves, we are building toward something. It is such a compelling, contagious kind of energy. We also can better attune to others’ needs. Unfortunately, I am one of those people that can seem friendly, yet entirely hide my true self, afraid of rejection. When I do reveal myself, our true relationship begins. The trick is in trusting–however our authenticity is received–we can handle it.
A Place to Begin
As we pulled away from “The Ritzy” (as my daughter affectionately calls it now), my kids continued to talk about Eric the bellman. How he left us water bottles for our drive, how he was so nice, how he happily carried our gear everywhere. Yet, it was that first moment of genuineness that passed between us that, created the trust. We felt we knew him. The surprising benefit of authenticity is it makes us feel more connected and alive. Thanks Eric and Jim, for reminding us what happens when we are ourselves even for a moment.
What could you reveal this week that would create more connection to those around you? Let me know how it goes.