Merriam-Webster dictionary describes being authentic as being not false or an imitation, true to one’s own personality, spirit or character with no pretensions. A key component of this value is honesty. Honesty is an essential ingredient in feedback. Unless we know what is really going on we cannot respond appropriately. Being honest does not mean being blameful. When asking questions and giving and receiving feedback in the right manner, blame and judgement should not be present. When blame is present the level of trust diminishes and the client becomes defensive.
To be authentic both the coach and the client need to understand who they are, what are their values and beliefs. These value and beliefs come from the progression of life. For many coaches this journey has begun with the process of earning a certificate or other formal recognition as a coach. These coach’s practical experience with clients has largely reinforced the given knowledge rather than inspire them to question it (Handbook of knowledge based coaching Wildflower :310). Authenticity in coaching is more than just a certificate or experience it is bringing one’s full self and being present. To make a meaningful effort both the coach and the client need to bring an emotional capacity that is free , open and spontaneous, and an understanding of each persons lifelong journey that has developed their own values and definitions for success A coaches guide to emotional intelligence James Tufrell Marcia Hughes PP: 199-120)
Authenticity aligns with self awareness .requiring an ability too know oneself, objectively see one’s strengths and weaknesses and accept them but at the same time strive to be a better .
(Avolio & Gardner, 2005; avolio et al., 2009; Gardner et al., 2005; Walumbwa et al., 2008).
Theorists have proposed that authentic individuals are guided by values such as personal virtue and moral wisdom (Bass & steidlmeier, 1999).
Gallweys Inner Game addresses many of the aspects of realizing self-awareness for the coach as well as the client. “It is the awareness of self, of the other and of the co-created reality. It is working beneath the surface.”
Our inner selfs and outer selfs can often be in conflict with each other. In other terms, authentic self can be in conflict with how they interact in a day to day environment. Our attitudes and opinions and values reside in the inner self.
Another term for this is winning from within. This is described as a person’s performance gap. What people know they should say and do and what they actually do in the moment how you present yourself to the world (Winning from within, by Erica Ariel Fox). Gallwey also discusses this Gap in relation to his coaching tennis and devised an equation Performance=potential- interference P = p- i. Coaches work is to close the gap my focusing on their clients inner self or self awareness. This means being often aware of what he not being said.
Self one is is what allows interference with our actions dealing with those around us and he what maybe cultural differences and different values is what lies within us, talents and values.