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Authentic Truths — Leading for the Future

January 27, 2010
The Daily Mining Gazette

RIPLEY - Authentic Truths is a unique type of counseling based on leadership training.

It will incorporate books, individual counseling, small group meetings, PowerPoint and DVD/CD presentations.

Specific topics such as decision making, trust building, and the development of leadership characteristics like honesty, integrity and tenacity will be discussed.

Are you ready to step outside your comfort zone? Even just a little?

At Authentic Truths, participants will find a wonderful opportunity to listen and be listened to; and think both creatively and realistically.

"I believe you can become an expert in your own life," said Laura Shudra, who recently opened Authentic Truths -Leading for the Future out of her Ripley home, located across from the Copper Bowl Lanes building.

Laura is a former Finlandia University assistant professor who has taught everything from Psychology and Substance Abuse, to Aging and Child Development in the Human Services program.

"I was honored by the opportunity," Laura said. "I have also worked as a counselor for a local agency, a public middle school and career center. Perhaps my greatest experiences, however, came from raising four wonderful children."

Years later, after having completed her degree, Laura realized that as well as an interesting career and sufficient income her greatest achievement was that she had changed.

"I had widened not only my own perspectives but had set an example of the love of learning for my children," she said. "That is my greatest hope for this business. That learning and growing and making friends with ourselves and others will be the basis for who we are and what we do. I want to offer you this opportunity!"

At Authentic Truths, participants will find an educator/counselor/trainer who meets people with respect and understanding wherever they are in their path through life.

In order to be financially accessible to everyone, both a sliding fee scale (with income verification) and a set hourly rate will be available. The expected fees will range from $15 to $50 per hour.

Authentic Truths makes NO diagnoses; uses NO detailed case notes and will NOT take insurance. This protects participants' privacy.

The journey begins with fun activities as participants develop their skills. Self tests can provide an "Ah-ha" moment when takers recognize their characteristics. Cards, games, movies, and creative activities make the time spent together both educational and light hearted. Whether building trust, practicing communication or exploring careers, participants meet and become friends with others who have similar interests to them!

"Here is an example of a PowerPoint slide we might use as a discussion starter," Laura said (see graphic below). "As you think about each question, you will see how being honest helps us determine the best course of action. Remember, too, that this will be a respectful situation. Anyone can decide to 'PASS,' use a 'friend's' example, or simply listen."

One particular area one group might explore, Laura said, is parenting from the perspective of an infant or toddler, who is a tiny, learning being, absorbing their environment like little, emotional sponges.

"We will support each other in acknowledging that becoming a parent is an awesome responsibility," she said.

Together, Laura said participants will investigate the characteristics of leadership and recognize them in themselves and in others more easily.

"It is fantastic how a specific movie, a short book or a PowerPoint discussion can help us side-step problems and increase happiness in ways we never imagined possible," she said.

The mission of Authentic Truths is to help individuals recognize their strengths and weaknesses and become more comfortable within themselves. The ability to create positive solutions within the family and work environment may lead to a ripple effect in the community. Former Secretary of State, John Foster Dulles stated: "Peace will never be won if men reserve for war their greatest efforts."

It seems as though the pace of life, due to technology, has outstripped the speed of thought. That time to think and feel and explore long-term consequences of our decisions (small or large) has become a thing of the past, Laura said.

According to Focus on the Family, conversation between parent and child averages less than 10 minutes daily.

"It seems unlikely that the process of ethical decision making will be passed down unless a concerted effort is made by parents and educators to do so," Laura said. "With each stage of our life, there comes change that may seem confusing or scary. If we have no mentors to help with difficult decisions or criteria for understanding problems ourselves, we feel at a loss."

For those who have not studied leadership, the characteristics of a leader may be difficult to identify, Laura said.

"But when you think about it, the ability to make good decisions, together with an intuitive and objective sense of who to trust, are two of the primary components of a leader," she said.

From which new home to purchase to what mutual funds to buy, where to vacation, or whether to have elective surgery, the process people use to make decisions often requires hard systematic thinking.

Authentic Truths will provide step-by-step procedures to help participants analyze tough trade-offs, clarify uncertainties, evaluate risks and make linked decisions in the most appropriate sequence.

Success breeds success.

The worst teacher is the School of Hard Knocks.

"To make our own mistakes and learn from experience takes time, energy, and often money," Laura said. "There is good news - we can avoid this by learning to make better decisions."

For those of you who find our work together invaluable, are past helping professionals, or wish you had chosen this field, I will be training other trainers as this business expands. I expect that it will grow by leaps and bounds by the second or third year. If you feel this applies to you, I invite you to consider this option.

Authentic Truths is located at 20882 Royce Rd. in Ripley, less than 2 miles north of Hancock.

For more information, or to make an appointment, call Laura at 482-7404.

Sessions will be designed based on your requests and needs. Initial meetings will help us design a plan that works for you.

Editor's note: This feature is part of a paid advertising package purchased by Authentic Truths of Ripley. Businesses interested in being featured on the Business page may call Yvonne Robillard at 483-2220.



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