I’ve spent much of my professional life helping people present something other than they are. To be more attractive, to be more effective communicators and to influence others.
To the question “can a politician be authentic?” I think it certainly is a challenge as I have coached politicians on how to present ideas and themselves, rarely have they asked to be more authentic, mostly they ask how to influence others. I’ve worked with those who are stepping on the pathway to becoming a politician or just getting elected for the first time and I’m sad to say what I’ve experienced is that none of them show up as themselves, they show up has what they think you want!
It is difficult to assess the character of a politician by what they say or how they behave in front of a camera, although overtime though they will reveal themselves. What they reveal it’s usually their shortcomings and difficulties as they twist and turn in public opinion trying to match the same changing winds of time.
With the advent of almost everyone having a smart phone with the ability to record either a conversation or a video people are record being themselves. A candid video of someone speaking in a meeting or two another person, it’s very hard to refute the behavior or the meaning, and yet I watch video clips of politicians saying something in December and then completely reversing their position in January!
I do know that everyone changes their mind once they have new information and yet if there is a catalog of recordings that show the individual reversing their position back and forth like a fluttering leaf in the wind it is hard to understand or know what they really mean and what reflects their values.
Much attention is given to the new President Biden, one of the things is he has been a politician long enough for a public record to exist and his beliefs to be examined, perhaps he is the exception as we cannot reinterpret what he said because he has said so much and we can see it.
President Trump on the other hand said a great deal but nobody believed what he said because it was too outrageous and everybody re-interpreted what he meant and what his actions were and gave him credit to having deep knowledge and agenda, what bullshit!
Perhaps the truth is we believe a politician to be “authentic” if they speak what we believe!
Always Show Up Geoffrey
Geoffrey has coached CEO’s, leaders, architects, engineers, public speakers and entrepreneurs: Here is a small collection of success stories from the different areas of Geoffrey’s background as a coach. Geoffrey has over 25 years coaching experience. He has led teams for 2010 Winter Olympic Bid, CN Financial Division, Shaw, Rocky Mountaineer, Sandwell Engineering, FKP Architects, Telus and Stantec. Geoffrey taught at the Sauder School of Business, Executive Education, at the University of British Columbia.