The Authentic Be-ing

30 years ago I stumbled upon the field of kinesiology, then fell headfirst into the world of experience-based learning. The result, a lifetime of working in the field of experiential learning, also referred to as experience-based training and development, if you’re not into the whole brevity thing.

I find myself returning time and time again to thoughts I now think of as philosophies. Or, life lessons, or perhaps as valuable tenets upon which the world revolves. Regardless, these observations occur with such regularity, while working with teams, I have thus folded them into the fabric of facilitation. Today, I am thinking about authenticity.


Authentic people welcome engagement. They accept their life experiences and understand they do not know all the answers.  Furthermore, they allow themselves to feel their emotions in the moment. They don’t repress their feelings and let them become the seed of resentment. Authentic people experience life challenges from a place of curiosity and vulnerability. Curiosity and Vulnerability combine to create a genuine discussion, an honest appraisal, a meeting of minds.


Authentic people are diligent when speaking to themselves, about themselves and to others. They are mindful of the energy behind words and aware of the impact genuine investment in sharing an experience has on relationships.


Authentic people are honest without being cruel.


Authentic people are curious and want to engage thoroughly. This includes debate, disagreement, negotiation, testing ideas, experimenting to arrive at solid solutions that are fueled by the investment of the team.

In our work, 99.99% of the time, teams arrive at this observation: We need to be authentic. How do we work on that? They say. To which I reply, what makes authenticity possible? Find those answers and you’ll see a developmental pathway. A route where teambuilding and practice will make a profound impact on your overall dynamics.

Play With Purpose.

Around here we talk a lot about practice. The story being – how does a ballerina, concert cellist, running back, skydiver, surfer, snowboarder become a professional? Practice. Lots and lots of practice. Team building is practice. It is play with purpose. Each game we play, helps us reflect on our skills, on our health, on our be-ingness. So simple a concept, on one hand, and so incredibly challenging, on the other.