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Alan Sieler

Welcome to our final issue of Observing Differently for the year.

To say that the world of relentless and unpredictable change that we have been living in for decades has been intensified in 2020 is an understatement. Most of us have been challenged like never before to draw on our inner resources and personal capabilities to deal with the circumstances we have been thrown into. Cultivating our inner resourcefulness and developing our personal capabilities is probably the most significant way of positioning ourselves to effectively cope, and have the quality of existence we desire.

Ontological Coaching offers a uniquely powerful way to recognise and shift unhelpful perceptual and behavioural patterns and open new practical possibilities for being more resourceful in the face of unexpected challenges. Learning to be an ontological coach and leader is more than learning a uniquely comprehensive and powerful skill set. At a deeper level, it is an opportunity to significantly enhance your ontological security, which includes a deeply grounded faith in your ability to continually generate your own learning and position yourself to deal effectively with a wide variety of life circumstances.

In response to the COVID challenge, we are delighted with the online success of our programs, being able maintain the invaluable experiential activities that make learning about the ontological approach to coaching, leadership and life so special. We now have the versatility to conduct all our programs in-person or online, depending on the circumstances.

Our next three-day foundation workshop - Ontological Coaching and Leadership in Action – is being offered in March and May next year.

“A wonderful experience and the depth of the workshop was excellent. I thought it was excellent for personal growth, and for coaching and facilitating. I am a master coach with the ICF, but the ontological coaching approach seems much more integrated, and better quality. I am already applying it in my work in career coaching and in coaching middle management. What particularly resonated were the whole area of the body and the importance of not making presumptions.”
Deborah Kinkead, Senior Manager, Telecommunications Company

The in-depth 18-month Certified Ontological Coaching and Leadership Program commences next year on July 15. This is a truly global program, which has been running for more than twenty years, in Australia and also in the USA, Europe, Asia and South Africa. Brochures for this course and the three-day workshop are available here.

“I entered the program because I felt there was something missing from my coaching. I leave the course with a deep insight into who I am and who I want to be. In this tumultuous world I can be the author of my life. Major shifts have occurred in the way I coach. I observe differently and I am better attuned to the coachee because I have the ontological distinctions to draw upon. Thank you for this wonderful opportunity.”
Lucy Fisher, Leadership Coach, Hobart

And now to this month’s article ... I am especially pleased to share with you a wonderful piece of writing by my South African colleague Karen White. Karen insightfully writes about the intertwining of what she calls our "habits of being" and what is most important to us, i.e. our concerns, sharing some deep learning about her own habits. Engaging in such learning plays a vital role in the strengthening of ontological security. Karen’s also outlines a set of practices that provide an opportunity for you to reflect on and make some shifts in your own habits of being. When you take the time to read the perspective and practices in this article, I think you will find it an enlightening and a very worthwhile experience.

Until next year ... with very best wishes for the remainder of the year and a relaxing and enjoyable summer break.

Alan Sieler


To BE Human is to have Concerns and Habits
By Karen White

We all have what I call Habits of Being, which said in a slightly longer way, are ways of being that are habitual. These are strongly linked to our Way of Being, which simply put is who and how we are in the world. In Ontology we can observe our Way of Being through three distinct aspects, namely Language, Emotion and Body, as well as how they interrelate and interplay together. For example, our emotions will inform our language and how we are in our bodies, and likewise language will influence emotion and body, and body, emotion and language. These three aspects are what we arrive with in this world and are what make us distinctly human. Enlightening ourselves about these three areas and being able to inquire into them, provide a very powerful way of observing and learning new and different Ways of Being. Instead of being driven by them, we can put ourselves in the driver’s seat!

Growing up, we learn those "Habits of Being" that I referred to initially. These habits we have learned and then honed over years and decades of living. We don’t announce to ourselves and others that we are learning them, and more often than not, we do not know that we are learning them. We learn them through the culture we are born into, our family of origin, and then all the various ways we are socialized in our culture. One of the definitions Wikipedia gives to socialization is the following: "Socialization essentially represents the whole process of learning throughout the course of life and is a central influence on the behaviour, beliefs, and actions of adults as well as of children."

»  Read the article in the Ontological Coaching section

Newfield Institute operates as the Ontological Coaching Institute in Africa, Asia, Europe and the UK. Ontological programs also run in the USA through EFL Seminars.


Ontological Coaching and Leadership in Action Workshop 2021 (Online)

• 18, 20 and 23 March 2021
• 20, 22 and 25 May 2021

»  Find out more

Certified Ontological Coaching and Leadership Program

(fully accredited by the International Coach Federation)

Commencing with the Opening Conference 15 - 18 July 2021.

ICF Accreditation

»  Find out more

Newfield Institute

Newfield Institute Pty Ltd
Corporate and Personal Transformation

Melbourne – Head Office
7 Rigani Court, Blackburn VIC 3130

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