The Power of the Ontological Approach

The Power of the Ontological Approach

When you stepped into our coach training program, if you were like most people, you probably expected to learn about listening, giving feedback and asking questions etc – to develop the skills of a coach, so that you could become a better leader, manager or even a certified coach.

Of course, those outcomes are very possible and frequently achieved.

However, you also most likely discovered that our Newfield ontological approach also offers a far greater range of opportunities, possibilities and benefits. While we tend to talk about and market the program as “coach training”, in all honesty, it is really “life training”.

One such example that I am personally finding highly relevant in today’s world is the work we do in the program with regard to grounding assessments. This is something that I have been paying especial attention to and practicing over the year end.

In today’s world, the ability and willingness to distinguish assessments from assertions and then to ground your assessments is becoming increasing critical. Why so? Because so many of our assessments are generated from the media, (directly or indirectly) whether it be social or mainstream. While this has always been the case, this source of information is becoming increasingly unreliable as “fake news”, paid “trolls” and “bots” deliberately muddy the waters.

In such circumstances, the work that you do in the Newfield program is extremely useful, not just in the office and/or as a coach, but also in the wider context of you living the life that you wish to live.

Asking yourself how you know what you know or believe what you believe and then being willing to test it in the structured and disciplined manner outlined in the grounding assessments methodology can be extremely uncomfortable, (it’s so much easier and quicker to just be right!) but it can also be incredibly rewarding.

Subjects where I have recently taken to grounding my assessments include business concepts such as “team effectiveness” and “leadership” but also subjects that are important to me in my life in general: “marriage”, “family”, “climate change”, “politics” and “Brexit”.

All of these areas are ones where I have unconsciously held strong beliefs about what is good/bad or right/wrong for some time. The discipline and rigour of distinguishing assessments from assertions and then grounding them has given me some very powerful insights and opened up new possibilities, physically, mentally and emotionally.

So, my challenge to you as we enter a new decade, is not to make a new resolution but rather to stop and look at where you are right now and be willing to test out the ground on which you stand today. In my experience, this is a far more challenging task and one that offers the possibility of real transformation, as opposed to a short-lived change effort.

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