Ask the Certifiers: Maintaining Authenticity by Natalie Tucker Miller, MMC
Q: Can you find and maintain your authenticity as a coach using the Masteries?
A: For me, the Masteries have become my self-awareness touchstone. Over the years I have found that any learning, understanding or studying I’ve done on my personal journey embodies the qualities I most revere within the Masteries. It’s that simple. And it’s that deep.
This personal journey is where I find the strength of my truest self as a coach.
In coaching conversations, often a client’s desire to be authentic emerges. This is a powerful and yet often elusive concept. What does it mean to be authentic? This word keeps popping up in business, personal development, pop culture and so on.
For me, it comes down to the distinction of “be” authentic vs. “be authentic.”
Take a moment to contemplate that distinction.
We can all appreciate how to “be authentic.” We can use facts and figures and values and speak from our integrity. As coaches we follow a certain code of ethics and coaching standards. We are authentic in our desire to help our clients maximize their potential, clarify their important goals and create the environments that are most meaningful for them.
But masterful coaching requires more than this. It invites us to model authenticity for our clients in a way that is profoundly deeper than the surface of doing authenticity.
I’ll demonstrate using a couple of the Masteries.
In Mastery #3, the coach must be alert to the discrepancies in the client’s communication. Does the timbre and tone of his/her voice match the words being used or the emotion being expressed? How often do you find yourself in a situation where you hold back your expressions, or judge the way you are feeling about something? We all do to one extent or another, for a variety of reasons. It isn’t good or bad, or right or wrong, but it is valuable information into the authenticity of one’s self expression. Tuning in to your own way of expressing creates an awareness that will allow you to see where you may be having trouble with genuine expression. It doesn’t mean to blurt everything you have to say? All out at once, it is simply a way to notice, reflect, then decide what you’d like to do with the information you’re holding back?
Mastery #6 points to the distinction of Source vs. Symptom. When we don’t go beyond what the client sees as an issue, or a block or a challenge, and venture into the reasons hiding behind the challenge, we are more apt to coach about a situation rather than the “who” of the client. Are there times you avoid looking past the symptom in your life? Do you notice the same unwanted things showing up time and again? This can often turn to blame, or looking outside yourself for a cause, which can cast a shadow on your authentic self. Being responsible for the events in your life is another way you can shine a light on the true, wonderful you and get to your source.
The Masteries can provide the roadmap for growth for our clients, and when we are dedicated to our own authenticity, they are our roadmap as well.
Please share your thoughts on this important topic!
Natalie Tucker Miller, MMC, is the Lead Certifier and a certifying examiner at the IAC, as well as Past-President. Natalie is founder of Ageless-Sages.com Publishing (www.ageless-sages.com), and creator of the literary genre, Picture Books for Elders™.
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