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May 22, 2013

This summer, our touristic outings seemed to be dominated by walls. In Germany, we saw the remains of the Berlin Wall and in England we saw what was left of Hadrian’s wall. My colleague Ghada set foot on the Great Wall of China. So between us, we’ve seen a good number of historically significant walls. The first wall only survived a few decennia, the latter two, a few centuries.

The Berlin wall was mainly constructed to keep the people in, the Great wall of China and Hadrian’s wall’s main purpose was to keep the “enemy” out. (Historians are still debating the various purposes of the walls).

Anyway, whether the walls in question were high, wide, long or short, and fell into decline after a few or many years, the entities or systems that built them, have not survived the test of time. The Scots and the English live in relative peace with each other, the Germans are happy to be reunited and the Chinese have definitely given up their xenophobia.

With today’s world a global village, airplanes having replaced yesteryear’s donkeys, and with the lessons of history readily available on Wikipedia, I can only say, whoever wants to build a wall now, save your resources and your energy. The people of the world want to do what they were meant to do from the beginning: live in peace, cooperate and enjoy each other’s company. That’s why Dubai is such a great place to live. Dubai opens it’s arms wide to anyone who wants to do just that. And we all know how that unleashes creativity and energy.

What would happen to the world if we all stopped living in fear and started being really curious about each other?

What would happen if we all let down our own walls and could embrace each other (figuratively speaking:) ?

What do your walls look like? Who do you want to keep in, and who do you want to keep out, and why?

What needs to happen to make you feel safe enough to open up your wall?

José de Heer

Coaching and Effective Communication Workshop with Abu Dhabi Government Entity

April 10, 2012

On Wednesday 28th March, Majka and I delivered a workshop to a Ladies Club at an Abu Dhabi Government entity, and they totally blew us away. We love working with people, that’s why we’ve become coaches and facilitators. We feel so lucky to do the work that we do and that we can do it together.

The ladies are a diverse group in many ways. Age, background, religion. That’s what we love about the UAE and about working here. No team or group is ever the same. They wanted to get to know each other better so that it would be easier to connect and cooperate on an inter-departmental level.

What is great about working with diverse groups is that you learn so much more just because everyone is different. This group demonstrated that again in a wonderful way. They jumped into the games with zest, stepped into the exercises without holding back and were really open. So we all shared and the more you share, the more you learn from each other.

We had exercises about empathic listening, about how to communicate effectively and how not to. About what behavior works well in a relationship, and about what to avoid. Bringing coaching and coaching skills to the workplace these days is the only way forward for companies that want to be the employer of choice.

If companies want to create a solid company culture and want their employees to live and breathe the company mission and vision, they cannot afford to take their employees for granted. The employees are a company’s most important and valuable assets and taking care of them is the first thing on the minds of engaged managers.

Teams become more effective when there is transparency and openness to diversity. Employers owe it to their workforce to be appreciative of them. When employees feel accepted and have a sense of belonging, they will be engaged and involved. They can then be in turn supportive and accepting of the company and of each other, and the potential of the team increases enormously. This sets the energy in motion and creativity will flow. In such workplaces, great things are about to happen. When teams have these qualities, magic happens: Productivity goes up and … People become more effective at what they do. This is the potential these ladies demonstrated.

The ladies all got to know new facts about each other, and overall know each other better now so that it gets easier to connect with each other. Majka and I truly felt energized by the group and we all had fun together.

Way to go ladies! We look forward to working with you again.

José de Heer

Coaches playground

March 13, 2012

February 2012 saw our first coaches playground event of the year, at Al Barsha Pond park. It was a new event and the location was meant to be a metaphor for fresh air in the coaching community. It turned out to be much more than that: we were also surrounded by lots of people jogging and getting together for some exercise. The energy was too contagious not to take it to our conversations.

Authenticity is a platform for all coaches in Dubai and the UAE. A safe space to share and learn. This time we were lucky to have Patricia Gonzalez Cobos in our midst, enlightening us about the up-and-coming ICF Dubai chapter. Patricia Gonzalez Cobos is the engine behind it, the creative force who makes this a reality for us. Her vision is to bring all Dubai coaches under one umbrella, and yet to give them the freedom to flourish as the coaches that they want to be. Her fierce determination leadership made this long awaited dream a reality.

We also brainstormed about what the coaching community in Dubai needs and how we can support their endeavors to reach out the community at large. Coaching is happening and coaches have the perfect chance to make something grand out of it.

We all have what it takes to make it happen, all what each one of us needs to do is just to take a leap of faith and gift her or his impact to Dubai and its people.

Authenticity is there for you, coaches, and for the community to hold the coaching container and to make sure that it’s easy for anyone to get in. Our door is wide open, so are you willing to take that leap of faith.

58 reasons to hire a coach

February 18, 2012
  1. create a deeper connection with other people
  2. get a deeper understanding of others and myself
  3. enhanced self awareness
  4. create movement in yourself and your life
  5. if you want to move forward
  6. if you are looking for change
  7. you want more focus
  8. looking for accountability
  9. want to be challenged
  10. give a safe space
  11. helps you to achieve more profits
  12. maximize potential of your people
  13. creates better time management
  14. maximizes performance of your team and yourself
  15. unearth your team and your potential
  16. a great tool for self development
  17. gives you fresh perspectives
  18. allows you to make better and powerful choices
  19. gives you get a bird view of life and issues
  20. helps you in facing your doubts and fears
  21. to reconnect with your self
  22. to connecting the dots in your life
  23. better family life
  24. increases your well being
  25. living in the moment
  26. championing
  27. allow you to be heard and seen
  28. to have fun
  29. effective teamwork or teams
  30. being more authentic
  31. learning about impact
  32. relaxing
  33. realizing your life purpose
  34. get inspired
  35. bring beauty within
  36. bring out your talents
  37. being at peace with yourself
  38. get awakened or enlightened
  39. move forward
  40. take action
  41. self awareness
  42. live a better life
  43. transformation
  44. finding your true priorities
  45. sound boarding
  46. mirroring
  47. life work balance
  48. Igniting your passion
  49. following your dreams
  50. archiving your goals
  51. living your values
  52. living a fulfilled life
  53. less burden life
  54. less stress
  55. excitement
  56. knowing what’s important
  57. reconnecting to your being
  58. enjoying life and career


The Authenticity team

coaching in one minute

February 6, 2012

Recently, we, of Authenticity, were asked to say something about coaching in one minute.

Now, that’s not much, so, this is what I came up with. It’s not all, of course, after all, what can you say in one minute?

  • Coaching is an in-depth conversation about what is really important to you.
  • It’s about identifying and setting meaningful, realistic goals,…
  • and it’s about brainstorming how to achieve your goals.
  • Coaching is about well being.
  • It’s for anyone who wants to change.
  • And for everyone who wants to have more fulfillment and balance in their lives.
  • The coach is your most enthusiastic supporter, so that you keep going, even if at times it feels like an uphill struggle.
  • The coach will remind you of your vision of the future, so that you keep moving toward it.
  • So that you reach your goals and live according to your own personal values.
  • You matter to you and you matter to us.
  • With coaching, you find out how you can get empowered to live the life of your dreams.

The Authenticity team

olympic goals

February 1, 2012

It’s peak season for athletes and their coaches now, as the count down to the 2012 Olympics in London has begun. I was wondering, does a coach have to be an expert? I don’t think so. Actually, I believe the opposite. Sports is one area where it’s very common and even maybe required, to have a coach. Sports people are driven to get better every day.

In sports, it’s important to get results. To score the more goals the better. Teams and individual athletes want to win. So, they use the coaches’ services to achieve that aim. The athletes need to have the strength, technique, skill, etc. to get there. The coach doesn’t. Great athletes have coaches who support them, believe in them, share the vision of their highest aim, remind them of their training routine, nutritional needs and maybe even bedtime schedule.

Most great athletes have coaches whom we’ve never heard of. Those coaches were never world champions in the sport they’re now coaching in. They are expert coaches, to great athletes. That’s a winning combination.

Great athletes may not make great coaches. They may have won the world cup, but do you know of any world champion who became a coach and then brought their team or athlete to the same level? I don’t think so. It’s not impossible, but it’s rare.

Wanting to do better on a daily basis is not limited to the sports arena. I believe everyone wants to be better all the time. A need for continuous development and improvement is in our blood. So, if you’re looking for a life coach, don’t look for someone who’s done it all and knows it all. You know the type. That kind could easily get on your nerves, and that would have the reverse result. Look for someone who believes in you and in your vision, who knows your strengths and who wants to be your most enthusiastic supporter….

How Olympic is your goal in life?


José de Heer

love and fierce courage

January 20, 2012

gratitude in slowness: loving the slow motion of a car traveling at 100 kph, people talking, pedestrian walking, mothers shopping, teenagers having fun, children playing, and I’m observing all that with a sense of relief, simply because i have the life in me to appreciate all that.

as coaches we are so blessed, to be aware of this around us, how many of the people in the world can do that and yet be fully alive in total stillness, people just live so one day is gone and they can’t wait for the next and so on. but we coaches we live in the moment and even the moment is not enough for us to since we want to appreciate this moment more and more.

just like Imam Ali Zain el abiddeen said, i thank you Allah and even this thank you deserves a thank you for allowing me to thank you. 

we have the capacity not only to help ourselves but the capacity to tell the hard truth to other even if that means losing them, just for the love we posses for others. sounds crazy but we come from a place of authenticity and selfless.

we hold the courage to be fully there and apologize for actions that are so authentic and innocent that others will not even think for a second to be apologetic about. humble, maybe, but courageous, yes certainly.

we go for our dreams in full thrust, if we crash, then we learn from, and if we succeed we fly to the next success.

love and fierce courage, might be conflicting, yet they seamlessly live in the heart of coach. for they cannot be a parted from a coach’s mind and heart.

so what makes us so special? we aren’t angels, by far not, we are not saints, God no. you want to know, its the transformation, yes, transformation, we first transformed our lives and now are ready to gift the world with part of our new souls. love and fierce, thats what makes us stand out, what is it about you that will make you stand out right now in front of the entire world!?


Jawad K Sajwani