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What do executive coaching and authenticity have in common?

Executive coaches that do their best work are authentic. Becoming authentic is a life-long journey. It is what Swiss psychologist, Carl Jung, called individuation. Have you taken the MBTI® personality assessment? If you haven’t, put it on your to do list; you’ll find it worth the investment, as you can get immediate insights and mine the results for a lifetime.

Doing our individuation work, or becoming authentic, helps us to build emotional intelligence (EQ). People with EQ are more successful in life and in their work environments. They do better in job interviews, with conflict, and in all manner of relationships -- so don’t wait to start to develop these abilities!

The first aspect of emotional intelligence is self-awareness, but it is also about developing empathy and resilience. I use a model I call the 3 C’s: Curiosity, Cultivation and Collaboration in my coaching practice that helps us in all of these key areas. In the HRD summer 1-credit class on Executive Coaching (HRD 8333), we’ll be working with this model. We’ll analyze the red flags that disable our 3 C’s and the competencies that build them.

Knowing our personal values and how we prioritize them helps to strengthen our self-awareness. Is honesty more important than accountability? Is creativity more important than fairness? Would you rate the value of family higher than you would achievement? How about social service vs. fellowship? In class, we will use an assessment tool called the VAL to clarify and challenge each participant’s personal values tree.

Living an authentic life means you are self-authoring--you speak from your true voice. But when we’re establishing ourselves in life we can get confused with what we believe and what will help us to get this job, that promotion, the opportunity to lead a special project, and so much more. Life is complex and demanding and the more prepared you are for it, the more resilient and effective you will be. Executive coaches support others in developing their authenticity but they must be working on their own authentic self at the same time. Both executive coaching and authenticity require that we find our true Self.

Whether or not you choose to be an executive coach, the skills and competencies you will learn about in this course will help you in any aspect of a career in HR, and, in fact, any aspect of life. I hope to see you in the workshop where we’ll be working on our EQ, our authenticity, and skills for overall success.

This summer's Executive Coaching workshop (HRD 8333, 1-credit) is scheduled on Friday, July 14th from 6-9pm & Saturday, July 15th from 9-5pm. If you're interested in registering for the workshop, please contact the HRD office at!


Janet S. Steinwedel, PhD is an Adjunct Professor in the Graduate HRD program at Villanova University. She is also the President of Leader's Insight, an Executive Coaching and Leadership consultancy, and the author of The Golden Key to Executive Coaching. Learn more about her here!

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