On August 25, 2017, I’m going to be presenting a break-out session at the ICF Converge 2017 conference. This page gives you in-depth information about what to expect in my session… I’m so excited about it, and I hope you’ll choose to join me!
The Delicate Dance Between Authenticity, Transparency, and Vulnerability in Coaching
Depending on your personality, you may prefer to keep details of your life private. It’s enough to navigate those personal disclosures with friends; what about in your professional life? That’s the challenge: determining appropriate authenticity in a world that’s driven by reality television, social media, tell-all posts and books, and cameras in our pockets. This session offers guidance for evaluating your personal story and determining what, when and how to share with clients and prospects. Through video interviews, conversation and reflection exercises, participants will gain clarity on walking the fine line between our private and public personas. (Click here for the longer, unofficial description, including learning outcomes)
When: Friday, August 25, 2017, 1-2:30pm ET
Where: ICF Converge Conference, Washington, D.C., Washington Marriott Wardman Park (Room: Madison A)
Converge Neighborhood: Development Zone, 1.5 RD CEUs
I’ve been conducting the video interviews with my coaching colleagues over the past month, asking them about their experiences with authenticity and transparency in the coaching relationship. Their responses are blowing me away (and that’s not an expression I use casually – I sometimes have to keep myself from applauding in the middle of their interview!). Because of their generosity, we’re going to have a wide range of diverse perspectives that will facilitate deeper clarity and self-awareness about how you show up as coach, both when you’re promoting your services and when you’re in the coaching partnership.
Here are the coaches we’ll hear from during the course of our 90 minutes together:
I’ve interviewed each coach, capturing their stories on video to serve as inspiration for our session discussion. Here are a few of the questions I’ve asked them:
- What’s your philosophy about sharing personal information in a marketing/promotional context? How do you decide what’s useful or meaningful to include as part of your story? What about in a coaching relationship?
- What’s an example of a time when you shared something personal with a client? What happened?
- Has there ever been a time when you shared something personal and it backfired? If so, what happened?
- How do you decide in the coaching moment to bring your personal story/perspective/belief into the situation?
- Any bottom-line advice for someone who is trying to discern what and/or how to share in an authentic, vulnerable way that doesn’t compromise the integrity of the coaching process?
There won’t be time to share every coach’s video interview. But I’ll be pulling together the most thought-provoking responses and, combined with my own insights, using them as catalysts for large and small group discussion. It’s a fantastic opportunity to benefit from more than a century of combined coaching experiences and lessons learned!
If you haven’t registered for the conference yet, you can do that on the ICF Converge site.
Full Session Description
It’s a frequent question from clients and colleagues: How much of myself do I reveal? Just how vulnerable do I have to be?
In other words: what does it mean to be authentic?
Depending on your personality, you may prefer to keep certain details of your life private. It’s enough to navigate those personal disclosures with friends; what about in your professional life? How do you self-manage with clients while also connecting emotionally with your audience?
That’s the challenge: determining appropriate authenticity in a world that’s driven by reality television, social media, tell-all posts and books, and cameras in our pockets. We are given platforms to tell our story, and we’re encouraged to be vulnerable and authentic. But as coaches, we’re also encouraged to self-manage: to check our personal experiences and biases at the door, lest they interfere with the client’s process.
It’s a cruel joke, courtesy of the Law of Attraction: clients have an uncanny knack for bringing topics to their session that reflect an issue that we as coaches are working on. The what-do-I-disclose dilemma surfaces in other places, too: while networking, updating an “About Me” webpage, crafting our speaking topics, being interviewed by the media, writing a social media post, or even when preparing a proposal for a contract.
This interactive session offers guidance for evaluating your personal story and determining what, when, and how to share with clients and prospects. Through the presentation of video interviews, examples, conversation, and personal and small group exercises, participants will gain clarity on walking the fine line between their private and public personas.
Pre-recorded video interviews with a diverse group of coaches, each sharing their personal lessons learned, will be incorporated into the session and used as a catalyst for participants’ reflection. We’ll explore the complex traits and choices that inform who we are—including politics, religion, relationships, and more—and how they intersect with our coaching presence and identity, and our external messaging.
Session content includes:
- An overview of the role vulnerability and transparency play in our coaching and where we encounter tension
- A series of short video interviews with several coaches in which they each share a time when the personal and professional intersected, and how they handled the situation
- Exploration of what is considered “appropriately authentic” in a range of coaching and business scenarios
- Insights on establishing authority and credibility through stories by offering content in service to one’s audience
- Opportunities for participants to evaluate their narrative, notice where it might benefit from more or less vulnerability, and refine their messages
- Deeper awareness of their coaching presence and gifts
- Tools for discerning what is appropriate (based on one’s brand) to share with a public audience, especially when it comes to controversial or deeply personal topics
- Clarity on when to incorporate personal experiences into their role as coaches and entrepreneurs
- Techniques for turning personal lessons into valuable, connective content
- Feedback from peers on opportunities for more authentic messaging
Through the viewing of pre-recorded interviews, full group discussion, small group work, and individual reflection, participants would emerge with actionable information on how to tell their story in a way that honors their truth while respecting the boundaries of the coach/client relationship.
Meet the Coaches
Throughout the session, you’ll hear seasoned coaches share their experiences with authenticity, transparency, and vulnerability. Here’s who you’ll meet: