Is being yourself really scary?

People are it seems really confused around the issue of identity and authenticity, especially when communicating with or presenting themselves to others. The comment “just be yourself”, sounds very simple but is actually a minefield for many of us. Being yourself can mean to enter into a state of authentic being, but you might not be able to work out what that is or how you do it. To put yourself out there in a genuine way can feel very scary since we can feel very vulnerable and we don’t know how it will go down with others. What if … Read more

Being in integrity means facing our own demons

How often has something not worked out for you in relation to another because of an issue with being in integrity? For example, how much do you find you aren’t fully trusting of another and where they are coming from, or for that matter they with you? Do you find you aren’t always fully consistent yourself and maybe don’t always show up quite as you think you ought. A useful test can be how you feel, like a certain discomfort, guilt or even shame. In transactions with another, often key to a successful outcome is the level of trust that … Read more

Being challenged by openness privacy and secrecy

Recent events have been nicely highlighting an old dilemma we humans face, how much we reveal of ourselves to others. In the public domain, phone hacking and surveillance touches a raw nerve. Yet in the personal domain we may wish to express ourselves openly and without fear, or by contrast to hold closely to ourselves what we feel unsafe to reveal to others. We may feel under pressure to be more open than we wish to be. Yet a whole trend in social affairs is towards being more open in self-disclosure, even to the extent for some of “to let … Read more

People need to feel more connected to you

Do you find yourself talking about a matter perhaps quite close to you and somehow people don’t seem to quite understand? You might for example be talking and there’s a non-reaction in your audience, like there’s no energy in the room, and people looked switched off, and perhaps bored and distracted. It’s likely that they’re disengaged. So how do you get them so they’re more connected to you and what you’re saying? Today people need to get from you how it really is. Which sounds good, except that often you don’t know how to convey it, at least not in … Read more

Being who you are brings others closer to you

It can be a big step to share of yourself but it brings others closer to you. If you are being who you are and truly share of yourself others are more likely to trust you. Why is this? When we learn what is really going on for another, we can potentially get the “real” person. It’s like nothing is hidden, it’s all out there in the open. That’s why organisations often encourage openness, because it helps people to work together better. We feel safer with it. We know what we’re dealing with. Also we can more easily relate to … Read more

How much are you who you say you are?

How much do you live your life in honesty and integrity? Are you who you say you are? It’s a very useful question, all the more relevant in the light of the recent scandals in public life. It’s a good time to check with ourselves. Do we practice for ourselves what we insist of others? We’ve had a week of devasting revelations about the UK banking industry, whose reputation must have reached a new nadir. Now we have news that the bankers were dishonestly fixing their interbank lending rate, the LIBOR, and artificially inflating their performance. The press have been … Read more

So what is this knowing who you are all about?

It’s a current buzz word, knowing and being who you are. In development work, we might be talking about being more yourself, finding who you really are, or being true to yourself. But what does this mean? We can do work on ourselves to discover more about ourselves, the different “parts” of us, what we are aware of and not aware of, what we think are the parts we like and what we are less comfortable with, what characteristics cause us difficulty, what are our strengths, and so on. It can be a bit like peeling back the layers of … Read more

Speaking with the power of authenticity

I was running a training course in leadership for managers last week, about presentation skills, and what was so very clear for these people that what this course was really about was their ability to be authentic, to be who they are, to be true to themselves. When they came over most powerfully was when they spoke with passion, from the heart, like they meant every word, that what they said really mattered, as though in some subtle way it connected with something true inside them. And this connected us with them. We felt with them, right there in the … Read more

Taking action when truly connected to who you really are

Taking action, making changes, moving forward in life and/or in work, we are at our most effective when truly connected to who we are. This is about understanding the nature of authenticity, our true self. But how do we know this for ourselves? You probably already know it, for example when you feel “in the flow”, in the zone, you can be highly effective. “Flow” is a concept, also called “Optimal experience”, which was developed by Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi. Another example might be being “in love”. You might have had the experience that when in love all things seem, or seemed, … Read more

How to get that magic ingredient you need to influence others

For me as a coach one major classic issue people want coaching with is how to be influential. It’s like a million dollar question as it can have a great impact on their careers – and/or their relationships. At one end of the spectrum is the person who is less assertive and needs to step up and make more of an impact to get results. At the other is one who is too aggressive and over-bearing towards others: as one coachee put it to me not long ago, “I get results but I leave bodies.” For others, it is simply … Read more