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Each year in December I’ll read or hear about the top words of the year. Most of them have to do with online searches or words that exploded as a part of pop culture. This year, I’ve decided to pick my own word of the year and incorporate it in my words and actions, on both a personal and a professional level.

Genuine – possessing the claimed or attributed character, quality, or origin; not counterfeit; authentic, real.

Genuine is a word that has popped up in conversations I’ve had with coworkers, professional acquaintances, friends, and family over the past year. I started noticing that I was using it when talking about the actions of others, and I realized I wanted to start using it when reflecting on my own actions.

I once had a supervisor that said his goal was to compliment people every day, and he meant every person he interacted with every day. It seemed like a wonderful thing, but then I wondered, is he being genuine? I’m not so sure. I’m going to be mindful of my compliments and make sure that I do give them and that they are recognized as genuine.

I’ve worked at organizations in the past that would say or do things I didn’t believe were genuine – wellness programs or team building events, for example. Clearly these are great when done correctly, but I believe organizations should look at their culture and have these programs reflect them, not what they think they should be – be real. My goal is to be genuine in my efforts to make a positive impact on the company I am currently working at.

Genuine – probably not a word that is going to explode as part of pop culture or online searches, but that’s okay. I’m excited to use it more this year and see where it gets me. What about you? If you had to pick a word for the year, what would it be?

Cathy Holdman
Cathy Holdman
After holding a variety of positions including community outreach and event planning, Cathy took a chance on a role in HR and found her calling.

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