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Increasingly we hear the call for leaders to be “authentic”, whilst at the same time people are fearful of being so - just in case they

  • share too much;
  • show weakness;
  • are disrespected; or
  • just because they are not sure what “authenticity” actually means for them.

Instead, let’s talk about being autonomous. Autonomy in Transactional Analysis means having the capacity for intimacyspontaneityawareness and added later is the ability to be responsible. When we are able to develop these capabilities we can then choose the time and place to express them. This is being Mindful. When Mindful we take account of the current situation: the issue; the seriousness of this issue; the ability to resolve it; and the personal ability and levels of responsibility. Of course all of these will mean consideration of a range of areas: environmental; financial; resources; roles; impact and consequences and so on.

When we account these areas and are Mindful we can then decide what we should, want, can, and will do. Then the issue of whether we are “authentic” is irrelevant as we will be making decisions based on consultation; observation; knowledge and experience and be willing to remain OK with ourselves and others even when we are unsure.

If we have difficulty with “authenticity” it may be that we are not actually being “autonomous”. If we are autonomous we are willing and able to decide about how to be and what to do, taking into account the current situation. So if you have difficulty being “authentic” I suggest that you consider if you:

  • a) are able to be intimate; spontaneous; aware; and responsible
  • b) believe you and others are OK

If you believe you don’t have these beliefs and abilities then perhaps it’s time to find yourself a coach. By slowing down the process, having time to think through issues with a supportive, objective person you are more likely to develop reflective, mindful practice which can spread into all areas of your life. Coaching is not without its challenges but it is a place where you can volunteer vulnerability and move to maintaining potency in your everyday life.

Contact us now for information on coaching, consultancy and training. Take a look at our website. Call us for an informal conversation about how we can support you and your organisation.