“Ontological coaching is an extraordinarily powerful methodology for effecting real, sustainable change at the individual, team and organizational level. It is highly effective because it is based on a new practical understanding of the power of language, moods and conversations for behavioral and cultural change.”
– Allen Sieler, Director, Newfield Institute, Australia
Our style of transformational coaching is called “ontological coaching”. Ontology is the study of being human. The intention of ontological coaching is to transform the basic way we understand and interpret ourselves and those around us. This innovative approach to life coaching is one of the world’s most sophisticated methodologies.
Ontology and transformational learning
Ontological coaching goes beyond strategies and skills to creating fundamental, profound learning and lasting change—if we are willing to observe, question and change the ‘being’ that we are. Ontological coaching is effective in altering our ability to take new actions by producing knowledge and understanding of the conversational, emotional, social, cultural and somatic environment in which we live.
Ontological coaching provides the support to teach and facilitate transformation by exploring four areas:
Language: We generate our lives through language and through conversation. Language is transparent, and it’s difficult to change what we do not see. The role of a coach: Coaching offers us the opportunity to observe our language, to reassess our assumptions, and choose to adjust our interpretations and the language we speak to generate our lives. Coaching also teaches us to apply a few powerful distinctions known as ‘speech acts’ to generate the results we want. One example is how to make requests to generate results or to make declarations.
Moods and emotions. Moods and emotions predispose us for action. They fuel our thoughts, words and deeds. Moods are always present. Many of us live in a mood of resignation about our lives. We believe ‘this is the way it is.’ External change often creates emotions of fear and anger which can morph into a mood of resentment. If we become stuck there, possibilities and performance die. The role of a coach: Coaching teaches us how to be aware of and shift our moods, first to acceptance and then to ambition and enthusiasm. Coaching teaches how to lead others through conversations that shift moods in the same way to open possibilities.
Body disposition. Our life learning experiences are all embodied in the way we carry ourselves. If we feel self-doubt for example, it shows in our bodies. Our bodies are always present and how we hold our bodies has an impact on our emotions and our language, and on others. The role of a coach: Coaching teaches us how to shift our bodies to align with and help generate the language and emotions we want.
Way of being. Underneath our language, emotions and body disposition is our ‘way of being’—our ontology. Our way of being is learned early in life and is based on how we interpret our experiences. A common example of being is a ‘victim.’ It manifests in stories of blame that limit possibilities. ‘Not good enough’ is another common way of being in our society. The implications in terms of suffering and accomplishment are obvious. When we struggle, the root cause is often due to our way of being. The role of a coach: Coaching brings awareness to our unconscious way of being and how it is serving us. It provides the opportunity to gain freedom from this self-imposed prison by choosing a different way of looking at things, and a different way of being that brings better outcomes.