Genuine is defined by Merriam-Webster Dictionary as sincerely and honestly felt or experienced.
Just as Justin Timberlake proclaimed to bring sexy back I am on a mission to bring the word genuine back. I am not even sure it went anywhere, but the point is the word genuine does not get enough play these days, especially in education.
Here is an excerpt from the #G2Great where this first occurred to me. Dr. Mary Howard, who always has a way of inspiring me with just the most eloquent words used the word genuine in our discussion around Engaging All Stakeholders in Deeper and More Meaningful Ways.
Then as things that seem to be calling for attention often do, I came across this word again today. I was reading Talk Like TED: The 9 Public Speaking Secrets of the World’s Top Minds by Carmine Gallo when the word popped out to me again. This word genuine, which really does not get enough play indeed needs to be brought back, was in Gallo’s first chapter. How serendipitous that I came across this today, just after the word called itself to me from Dr. Howard’s tweet.
Gallo shares the research of Melissa Cardon who has spent ten years at Pace University studying passion. Carson completed a study called “The Nature and Experience of Entrepreneurial Passion,” This type of passion has been defined by Cardon as “A positive, intense feeling that you experience for something that is profoundly meaningful for you as an individual.”
If I was to consider this passion for me along with what Gallo suggests to answer the question “What makes your heart sing?” I would have to say that learning is what makes my heart sing. This can take many forms; it could be me learning, it could be me learning about how people learn, it could be me learning with someone else or just watching as others learn. Of course now I have to realize then that I am currently in a great field to explore my passion. As a literacy coach everyday I learn, I learn more about learning and I witness learning as students and teachers learn alongside me.
How does genuine relate to this? It turns out that according to Cardon, people who are genuinely passionate about their topic are better speakers and audiences can recognize if someone is not genuine in their passion. If a speaker is faking their passion they will fail to make a meaningful connection to their presentation and their audience. People see genuine. People understand genuine. People believe and become passionate when others speak passionately and genuinely about a topic.
So join in with me and bring genuine back! Even if it did not really go anywhere let’s be genuine and let’s use that word. Let’s make sure we bring genuine back to all our interactions with our students first and foremost but all stakeholders in education. Especially in these times when education is at the center of much debate, let’s bring genuine back!