A Coaching Model Created by Rajesh Vaidya
(Transformational Coaching, ROMANIA)
“Authenticity” is being true to one’s own personality, character, deeper values and beliefs, despite external pressures. It is referred to as complete alignment of one’s beliefs, values emotions and actions.
There are forces like social norms, perceived or real rewards or reprimand, hierarchy of external validation etc. which shape one’s behavior and actions in the society. The way an individual behaves and act may not be congruent with one’s inner world. And this incongruence or lack of alignment invariably puts conflict in one’s mind. And as this inner conflict persists and grows in strength and size, it stars feeding on energy of the individual, which otherwise could be channelized for other creative and developmental pursuits.
Authenticity Anchored Coaching Model” primarily deals with the following:
(i) It creates a safe space for the client to look at one’s life issues ‘as they are’
(ii) It encourages client to stay in the space of exploration and discovery as opposed to putting undue pressure of achievement and outcome in the sense of problem solving or solution finding. It believes that solution and subsequent action plan is an outcome of a comprehensive exploration and diagnosis.
(iii) It encourages client’s journey in one’s own awareness in the shining light of his/her own authenticity.
(iv) Authenticity anchored coaching believes that coaching journey carried within the space and spirit of Authenticity opens up deeper transformational possibilities. Authenticity enhances self- awareness, strengthens ownership/accountability and accelerates client’s ‘move-forward’ journey. It brings about a different degree of self-acceptance, confidence and character – unique to Client’s own individuality- and that can be incredibly powerful.
Right at the beginning i.e. at pre-contracting, discovery session coach states and clarifies above characteristics of the model in terms of beliefs and process, upfront with the client.
Some clients may not be comfortable with the idea of stepping into one’s authenticity, as they may be apprehensive about what they might see or feels. Coach acknowledges such or similar concern if expressed by the client and states that coaching journey is about expanding awareness, growth and evolution. Client may make a conscious choice of not making certain areas accessible, even to self. Coach would bring to the awareness of the client that it would continue to block client’s energies and limit the process of reaching one’s fullest potential. Coach assures that as a coach, he would act in the best interest of the client.
If an agreement is reached to take the coaching relationship forward, the process begins.
Authenticity acts as a substratum as well as space pervading the coaching process. It encourages client to see things as they are, establishes connects with the deeper values and brings about clarity in client’s thinking process and subsequent actions.
Authenticity is consciously invoked through Powerful Questions and Visualization.
Illustrative questions/techniques as below:
- In your complete authenticity, would you make the same decision? (Situation- Client is contemplating a certain decision, but lacks conviction)
- What would be different if you make a choice with your complete authenticity?
- Do you see yourself completely aligned with your actions, thoughts, actions, values and beliefs?
- How is it different when you are being your authentic self as compared to when you are not?
- What do you need to experience in order to be free to be yourself?
- Visualization- Imagine a circle of Energy. This is the Energy of your True Authenticity. I invite you to step inside- it is the circle of your Authentic Self- This is the space of your Personal Power- what decision would you make here? It is different than the one you’d make outside of it? What is different? Which decision would you rather choose?
Authenticity is specifically emphasized or referred to in the situations of doubt, value conflict, making choices, choosing between two important values etc.
In terms of outcome and learning, coaching journey is innately positive, energizing and creative.
For greater awareness, clarity and insights, client may need to work at deeper, fundamental levels. And it is not an easy process. Client may encounter strong feelings of fear, anger, denial, question marks, uneasiness, confusion- and these are inevitable phases of the journey.
There is a powerful metaphorical story in Hindu Mythology on exploring depths of one’s consciousness.
As the story of churning the ocean goes- Once upon a time, Demi Gods and Demons churned the ocean of primordial existence to get precious jewels and nectar of immortality. The task was gigantic, involved extraordinary labor and the process of churning brought out deadly poison before jewels and nectar surfaced. Having committed themselves to the task of finding unprecedented riches and nectar of immortality, they also had to endure the unpleasant and toxic poison, which they were never prepared for.
In the coaching situation, when client is exploring one’s conscious and subconscious mind, pulls and pushes, courage and fears, it is likely that one encounters some uncomfortable aspects about oneself.
Authenticity provides safety anchor during such turbulent phases.
It also guides the process to move forward with renewed strength and learning.
Client brings agenda to coaching session in the form of personal vision, aspirations or goals.
Coach honors Client’s agenda, contracts the Long Term or Short Term-session specific objectives and starts working with the Client.
Coach shares the central belief of Authenticity in every step of the coaching journey.
Clarification of the agenda, building greater awareness around what it means to the Client , what would be of greater value to the Client in future are the primary focus areas of Agenda stage.
Agenda stating questions- some are illustrated as below:
- What would you like to achieve through this coaching journey?
- What is the success of this coaching engagement from your perspective?
- What would you like to achieve by end of the session?
- What is your agenda for the session?
- What makes this agenda important for you?
- Who you would be once you achieve your objectives of the coaching session?
- What would you like to clarify to yourself?