WHat is coaching?

Coaching is a modality, to support you to uncover your own power and to support you to create what you truly want.

It is not advice-giving.

It is not “helping”.

It’s not telling you your answer.

Instead coaches create a clean and thus powerful environment, that supports you to uncover your own answers

As a coach I facilitating and join you on an internal and external journey, where you find your own path up the mountain.

“Life coaching can be broadly defined as a collaborative solution-focused, result-orientated and systematic process in which the coach facilitates the enhancement of life experience and goal attainment in the personal and/or professional life of normal, nonclinical clients.”

The impact of life coaching on goal attainment, metacognition and mental health
Anthony M. Grant – 2003
University of Sydney, NSW, Australia

I am an Ontological Coach

In short, Ontological Coaching focus not just on the Doing of ones own life, but also on the Being.

The question of “Who am I?” and “Who do I want to be?” comes into focus. This leads the client into a beautiful journey of self discovery and transformation.

Read more below.

Ontology is the philosophical study of Being.

It asks:
What is the essence of a thing?
What makes up who we are?
What constitutes how we experience reality?

Ontological Coaching developed around the 1980s as a response to the deeper explorations taking place in philosophy and the cognitive sciences. It was Heidegger who shifted the perspective in his book “Being and Time”, written in 1927, to the question of Being.

Further authors such as Humberto R. Maturana (See 1970) and Fernando Flores (See 1982) took this perspective and brought it into the realm of adult development, cognitive biology and management theory. From this the Ontological Coaching modality developed slowly. From that point onwards, different coaches and leadership trainers have developed the Ontological model further.

Here’s a simple description:

“From an ontological perspective, coaches observe and work with key aspects of how clients (coachees) have structured their reality and the nature of their existence, ie, their perceptions and ways of participating in life. This is done by observing key aspects of their being, or more precisely their Way of Being.”

– Alan Sieler

Thus as an Ontological Coach, I support you to see how you have constructed your reality. To uncover how this construction is enabling and limiting. To see why the things you want aren’t possible right now – not because you are unable to create them – but because the world you’ve created doesn’t allow that to become a reality.

Next to this exploration of reality-construction, there is an exploration of your Essence – your core.

From the Ontological perspective, we assert that there is a core to every human that is

1) Unique – Distinguishable
2) Real – Can be experienced
3) Primary – Something we are born with

Part of the Ontological work is to support you to uncover these and to see who you really are. To see your light and to see how you have distorted this light, to survive in this dynamic ever-changing world.

If you are interested more into the history and basis of Ontological Coaching, have a look these links:

“What Is So Special About Ontological Coaching?”
Alan Sieler, 2021

“Ontology – A Theoretical Basis”
Alan Sieler

A vast collection of articles on Ontological Coaching by Newfield Institute
By Newfield Institute

Individuals

That want to transform themselves.

Leaders

That are here to make reality out of possibility.

Transformation

Transformation has a curious quality to it. It’s something we can’t explain in words. It’s an experience, a journey we take with ourselves.

For real transformation to happen, we first need to dive deep into who we are. As to see and feel who we are, what impact we have on the world, and to see what becomes possible/impossible when we be this way.

It’s only when we’ve become clear of where we are, that we can start to transform into something new.

But let’s be clear: To change means to move from one side of the spectrum to the other. But to truly transform means to starting to playing in a new paradigm.

Leadership Development

As a leader you create the space(s) that allow possibility to turn into reality. 

However this often comes at an enormous cost. For your team, your company and often for yourselves.

It’s at this point that as a leader you need a space that you can enter. A space in which you can explore what is really going on for yourself. To see what is present in your life and to get in touch with yourself again.

Leadership development means allowing someone else to support you. To allow someone to hold the space you need. So as to allow you to develop your own leadership again, but from a deeper place this time around.

Curious?

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Research and Papers about Coaching

The impact of life coaching on goal attainment, metacognition and mental health
Anthony M. Grant – 2003
University of Sydney, NSW, Australia
Link to paper

“Goal-directed self-regulation consists of a series of processes in which an individual sets a goal, develops a plan of action, begins action, monitors his or her performance (through self-reflection), evaluates his or her performance by comparison to a standard (gaining insight), and based on this evaluation changes his or her actions to further enhance performance and better reach his or her goals. The coach’s role is to facilitate the coachee’s movement through the self-regulatory cycle towards goal attainment.” (P.255)

“It appears that overengagement in self-reflection may not facilitate goal attainment. This finding serves to remind coaches that life coaching should be a results-orientated solution-focused process, rather than an introspective, overly-philosophical endeavor.” (P. 262)

Investigating the use of speech-based conversational agents for life coaching
Laura A. Franch & Iliana Ferrer – March 2022
In International Journal of Human-Computer Studies Volume 159, March 2022, 102745
Link to paper

“In addition, the importance of setting goals in alignment with the person’s values has been highlighted by multiple coaching approaches (Cox et al., 2014). Values define what is most important to the person and can act as a driving force in individuals’ goals and actions. However, values are deeply ingrained assumptions, for which people are not generally consciously aware of them (Stoltzfus, 2008). Values discovery as a preceding exercise to goal setting is an important process to become in touch with who the person is and what they truly value in life. Including values discovery in the coaching process provides a more holistic approach to personal development which should ultimately contribute to enhanced well-being (Grant and Cavanagh, 2010). Values discovery is best approached by examining and selecting specific values for each of the main areas of life (Stoltzfus, 2008).”

The Future of Coaching: A Conceptual Framework for the Coaching Sector From Personal Craft to Scientific Process and the Implications for Practice and Research
Jonathan Passmore & Rosie Evans-Krimme – November 2021
CoachHub GmbH, Berlin, Germany
Henley Business School, University of Reading, Reading, United Kingdom

Link to paper

“At the heart of coaching, noted by multiple coaching writers, was its facilitative nature (Passmore and Lai, 2019). Coaching pioneer John Whitmore’s working with Graham Alexander and Alan Fine in the later 1970s and 1980s, and informed by the work of Tim Gallwey (1986), focused on the self-awareness and personal responsibility which coaching created. This led to Whitmore (1992) defining coaching as having the potential to maximise a person’s performance by adopting a facilitation approach to learning rather than teaching.”

“In Brock’s (2010) reflection on the common themes, the facilitative nature of coaching is the strongest similarity across definitions. Brock (2010) also emphasised the interpersonal interactive process that places the coaching relationship at the centre of the facilitation and essential for positive behavioural change. This perspective was maintained in later definitions, which introduced the purpose of coaching to drive positive behavioural changes (Passmore and Lai, 2019) For example, Lai (2014) reported that this was driven by the reflective process between coaches and coachees and continuous dialogue and negotiations that aimed to help coachees’ achieve personal or professional goals.”

“Coaching is often considered an applied aspect of positive psychology. Both emerged from humanistic psychology, with its focus on the flourishing of the individual, and how individuals, teams and society can create the right conditions for this to be achieved.”

 

“We start by suggesting that coaching is likely to have a prehistory past. While some argue that coaching was born in 1974 (Carter-Scott, 2010), we believe it is almost certain hunter gathers will have engaged in the use of listening, questioning and encouraging reflective practice to help fellow members of their tribe to improve their hunting skills or their sewing. There is some evidence from Maori people, in New Zealand, that such questioning styles have been used for centuries to aid learning (Stewart, 2020). However, the spoken word leaves no trace for archaeologists to confirm the development of these practices.

While the clothing sector developed in full sight, leaving traces for archaeologists in graves and wall paintings, coaching remained a hidden communication form, until its emergence in societies where written records documented different forms of learning. At that moment, the Socratic form was born. It is often this moment which until now has been regarded as the birth of the positive psychology practice of coaching. It has taken a further 2,500years for coaching to move from a learning technique used by teachers to a specialisation increasingly concentrated in the hands of the few, which requires training, credentials, supervision and ongoing membership of a professional body. While there is good evidence of individuals using coaching in the 1910s (Trueblood, 1911), 1920’s (Huston, 1924Griffith, 1926) and 1930’s (Gordy, 1937Bigelow, 1938), the journey of professionalisation started during the 1980s and 1990s, with the emergence of formal coach training programmes and the formation of professional bodies, such as the European Mentoring and Coaching Council in 1992 and International Coaching Federation in 1995. The trigger for this change is difficult to exactly identify, but the growth of the human potential movement during the 1960s and 1970s and its focus on self-actualisation, combined with the growing wealth held by organisations and individuals meant a demand for such ‘services’ started to emerge from managers and leaders as part of the wider trends in professional development which started in the 1980’s.”

Where Life Coaching Ends and Therapy Begins: Toward a Less Confusing Treatment Landscape
Elias Aboujaoude – November 2020
Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, School of Medicine, Stanford University

Link to paper