Authentic Leadership Training

Carolyne French

By Carolyne French, Head of Program Learning,
12 March 2024

Thinka’s ‘Be Authentic’ Workshop

As workplaces evolve, people who manage with ego rather than lead with authenticity are going to find it hard. Every day, we are seeing roles changing, technology expanding and employees needing more from their leaders. To build strong and formidable teams, we must lead with authenticity and demonstrate the importance of self-awareness for growth and development.

What leaders will explore

  • What authentic leadership is
  • How authentic leadership builds trust
  • Self-awareness and self-regulation
  • Vulnerability as a strength, not a weakness
  • Accountability and responsibility

What leaders will apply

  • A more authentic leadership brand
  • Ability to be authentic with team members
  • Skills to recognise and regulate emotion
  • An ability to sit with vulnerability
  • Accountability and responsibility in the role
Workshop Purpose

When you have leaders who have high levels of emotional intelligence, are empathetic and can read situations well, teams thrive. In this increasingly complex work environment, leaders need authentic leadership skills to flex and change their style. The purpose of this workshop is to help leaders grow their capabilities in authentic leadership, so they can build better, healthier relationships. This will help leaders set their teams up with a ‘true north’, so they have a direction, feel supported and know where they stand.

Working with organisations across Australia, we know that leaders’ responsibilities have increased and that they are facing some tough challenges. Here are a few of them:

  1. Changing leadership models: Living in a ‘VUCA’ (volatile, uncertain, complex and ambiguous) environment means leaders need to cope with constant challenges. Covid recovery, economic instability and hybrid working have all had a profound emotional impact and older styles of transactional leadership don’t work as well as more transformational styles like authentic leadership. 
  2. Psychosocial hazards: Leaders have had to focus on developing stronger relationships and protecting their employees from psychosocial hazards. Leaders with these skills will become increasingly desirable, as an authentic leadership style promotes well-being, employee engagement, and greater job satisfaction in teams. 
  3. Mental health: 1 in 5 Australians are currently experiencing a mental health issue. Authentic leaders can help employees understand each other and be more supportive to improve mental health outcomes. This leadership style helps employees develop self-awareness and understand the challenges others are facing as well. 
  4. Flatter hierarchies: More and more, organisations are becoming flatter with employees having more responsibility and autonomy. Leaders need to be able to relate to different people and build authentic working relationships to achieve outcomes. Skills in authentic leadership help leaders make smoother, easier connections.

Overall, by growing authentic leadership characteristics in leaders, they are more likely to step into challenges with greater capability and nurture team performance.

Workshop Benefits

With the help of this Authentic Leadership Training, skills that leaders can put in place include:

  1. Emotional Intelligence: Leaders who are self-aware and understand others and their individual points of view, are more compassionate. Emotional intelligence is key in robust decision-making as all perspectives are recognised, and it allows for easier collaboration on tasks and projects.
  2. Perspective taking: Conflict arises when there are different perspectives in the workplace, but leaders who can appreciate different points of view are better placed to appreciate different team members. Leaders increase these skills by staying calm and objective in situations, truly listening to others, and working collaboratively to find solutions.
  3. Holding space: Leaders who can hold space for team members are more likely to build better, healthier relationships. Leaders can build this this capability by applying active listening skills, refraining from judgement, and displaying open body language and facial expressions.
  4. Self-reflection: Leaders who engage in regular reflective practice and practise strong self-discipline learn from their mistakes and interactions. Authentic leaders are those who are willing to learn and become more effective leaders and better humans as a result – so they can show up for others.
  5. Trust-building: When you truly understand a person’s perspective and a person’s feelings, it goes a long way to signalling trust and connection. This paves the way for long-lasting relationships that are mutually beneficial. Leaders who have strong core values and build this trust can have deeper discussions and give honest feedback to team members.

By developing skills in these areas, people can become not just authentic leaders but truly great leaders, positively impacting team and organisational performance.

Workshop FAQs

What is Authentic Leadership Training?

This training course is specifically designed for leaders to develop an understanding of the components of authentic leadership. It aims to provide participants with the skills, tools and confidence necessary to understand themselves and others. Our experienced facilitators have worked with many Australian leaders in professional development programs and draw from case studies and shared experiences to offer meaningful advice to learn from.

Why should my organisation offer Authentic Leadership Training?

Being part of this ‘Be Authentic’ workshop can help leaders improve their ability to understand their own and other people’s emotions, develop effective leadership behaviours, and collaborate better. It can also help participants to break down limiting beliefs they have about themselves or others. The workshop experience is designed to help leaders learn from each other and see how they might help each other grow an authentic leadership style.

Who can attend Authentic Leadership Training?

Thinka’s Authentic Leadership Training is designed for leaders. Participants learn the basics of authentic leadership theory and how to apply this to refine their leadership brand. However, this training can be easily customised for a leadership development program aimed at developing high performing team members who are destined for a leadership role in the organisation.

Is Authentic Leadership Training only available in person?

Authentic Leadership Training can be delivered in an in-person, virtual or hybrid format; depending on the organisation’s set-up. It is interactive and typically made up of strategies, discussions and a series of activities to support real world application. The training can be complemented with coaching sessions with a Thinka coach. Coaching plays an important role in helping participants challenge old behaviours, face fears and accept their vulnerabilities – an essential part of realising an authentic leadership style. Organisations might also opt for a blended program that makes use of eLearning modules and other forms of media as part of an online course.

Workshop Case Study

Senior Leaders Forum with Struber


1. What was the objective?

Struber planned to deliver a Senior Leaders Forum for 15 leaders in the Yarra Valley over three days, focusing on empowerment, growth and elevating their leaders from managers to ‘leaders’. They branded this event ‘Kulin – Brighter, Bolder, Better Getaway’. Struber enlisted Thinka’s help to deliver two workshop experiences on two days exploring two themes – ‘Leading Self’ and ‘Empowering Others’.

2. How did we do it?

In the ‘Leading Self’ workshop, we talked about leading with vulnerability and the importance of building trust with your team. Participants reflected on their personal leadership brand and how this reflects their priorities, values and promises they do, or don’t, deliver. Throughout this workshop, the learning activities and language linked back to Struber’s Seven Mantras.

In the ‘Empower Others’ workshop, leaders learned about cultivating psychological safety to build trust in their teams. They also built awareness around the differences between managing and leading to push past manager-mode. Leaders learned about giving feedback that lands using the BIO model of feedback to build team member capability. In this workshop, the activities and language also linked back to the Seven Mantras.

3. How was it integrated and what were the results?

The workshops were facilitated over three days with fantastic results. Feedback from participants included:

“I loved it. I wish it was longer!”

“Loved the facilitators. They were engaging and gave everyone the opportunity to ask questions.”

“I think it was a great balance of content and workshop”

“Loved the whole thing. There was an amazing vibe in the room.”

Leaders received application tools to help them apply their learning back on the job, so they could steadily grow into more authentic and successful leaders.

The focus on vulnerability and sitting with how we all share that was a highlight. I also found it valuable to see how we already work so well as a team, and getting to practise what we preach throughout the session.

Be Authentic participant, Switchboard Victoria

Workshop Outline

Delivery Options

In Person Workshop

Virtual Workshop

See Demo

Key Outcomes

1. Leaders who understand their leadership identity.

2. Leaders who set aside ego and can regulate emotions.

3. Leaders who can see vulnerability as a strength.

4. Leaders who can commit to growing self-awareness.

5. Leaders who know what being accountable means.

Target Audience


Learning Approach

Experiential and application based learning

Workshops to pair me with:

Apply Coaching

Good coaches are human and know what it means to be human.

Develop Your Leaders’ Coaching Ability

Generate Influence

It’s about galvanising others toward action and one goal.

Influencing Skills For Leaders

Our in-person workshops maximise opportunities for robust conversation, experiential activities and intensive group work. This is no ‘death by PowerPoint’ experience – our facilitators are skilled in presenting and leading immersive experiences that get the most out of people. Supported by multimedia, attractive takeaway pages and practical strategies for using back on the job – our in-person workshops build a formidable bridge between exploration and application. We have a 10 person minimum for an in person workshop.


Our virtual workshops breathe fresh life into the online experience with their almost ‘radio show’ feel. Our expert facilitators use a combination of multimedia, questioning techniques and break out activities to target micro-skills – with a focus on application. Supported by an online platform hosting custom-built workshop materials, participants can be assured of a lively, dynamic session that has a distinct bias to action. We have a 6 person minimum for a virtual workshop.

This audience includes ‘middle management’ leaders who support team members in capability building. The skills are geared toward increasing leadership effectiveness and driving performance in team members in modern work contexts. These skills are flexible and built to grow with individuals as they evolve in their leadership journeys.

Thinka believes that every learner needs to walk away being able to do something differently once they’ve engaged in a learning solution. The real power is in every individual applying their learning. Our behaviour-based methods, supported by the latest research, are key to making the steps for change relevant and realistic.

Thinka supports with methods like storytelling, experiential activities or rich questioning, but ultimately, we know the integration between solution and real world is the most crucial part of the learning experience. That is why we look for ways to ‘build a bridge’ between the solution we provide and what happens back out on the job.

Whether it’s an application template, a set of strategies, some tips or a ‘how to’ model – we work hard to provide every learner with not just information but the tools they need to make a real difference.