WHAT IS ONTOLOGICAL COACHING?
Ontological Coaching is an extraordinarily powerful methodology for effecting real change at the individual, team and organisational level. It is highly effective because it is based on a new practical understanding of the power of language, moods and conversations for behavioural and cultural transformation.
Learning and Change
In a world of increasing complexity and uncertainty, generated by what seems like relentless and accelerating change, coping effectively and living a meaningful life have become central issues in our everyday existence. Dealing with these issues requires learning and addressing a critical question:
“What learning is necessary to live and work well?”
Ontological coaches are skilful facilitators of profound learning that generates genuine transformation and more powerful and constructive ways of engaging with different aspects of life and work.
Ontology is the study of being – what it means to be human. Ontological Coaching focuses on our Way of Being, which is a dynamic interrelationship between three areas of human existence – language, emotions and body. Way of Being contains our often deep-seated perceptions and attitudes and is the underlying driver of our behaviour and communication.
Coaching in all three areas of language, emotions and body can generate profound learning, resulting in fundamental shifts, both in self-perception and perception of what is possible in personal and professional life. From an ontological perspective, deep and lasting change requires shifts in language, emotions and body.
An ontological approach to coaching is based on a deeply grounded understanding of human beings, which has emerged from significant breakthroughs in a practical understanding of the power of language and communication. These breakthroughs emerged from major developments in philosophy and biology in the late 20th century. They provide a rigorous theoretical foundation for the methodology and practice of Ontological Coaching, which is indispensable for developing coaching as a profession. (See Ontology of the Human Observer)
WAY OF BEING
In a world of constant and relentless change, we are faced with the challenge to continually re-invent ourselves so that we can successfully adapt to novel and unpredictable circumstances. Ontological Coaching supports people to become more powerful Observers, capable of not only taking more effective action, but also for becoming more self-generating as learners to meet the imperative for the continual development of flexible modes of thinking.
Ontological Coaching in Organisations
Ontological Coaching has a holistic orientation that is applicable for Executive Coaching, Organisational Consulting, management and leadership. An ontological approach to coaching is based on a practical understanding of how Ways of Being impact on the quality of human behaviour, relationships and accomplishments, all of which are critical to leadership and management performance.
An organisation is seen as a network of conversations, relationships and commitments. How well people converse and relate, and manage their commitments, has a major bearing on performance and productivity. Leadership and management effectiveness is fundamentally about conversations and relationships. Shifts in Way of Being, individually and collectively, underpin the enhancement of conversational and relational competence, and are central to improved work practices, cultural change and lasting organisational transformation.
For an in-depth perspective of ontological coaching read Coaching to the Human Soul: Ontological Coaching and Deep Change – Volumes I, II and III and the Articles and Papers available on this site.
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