Life can be challenging at times. Alan Sieler, auther of “Ontological Coaching” suggests a holistic approach to cope with life’s challenges.
Whenever we do not get what we want, we tend to look outside, and explain that it’s somebody else’s fault, that we are not the one to blame.
Yet, such thinking usually puts us at a powerless position. If it is somebody else’s responsibility, that means we do not have control over the situation, and therefore we would not be able to change it, to make it better.
If we are honest with ourselves, we are nevertheless, at least, 50% responsible. Even though what happened may not be under our control, how we think, response and react in each and every situation determines how it evolves.
Our belief system, many times, creates us the blind spot, and hinders us to see different alternatives.
We do not see things as they are, we see them as we are.
Some time ago, I was honored to have attended a workshop conducted by Mr Alan Sieler, a world leader in “Ontological Coaching”. Through a series of simple exercise, Alan has been able to demonstrate how our deep-seated perceptions and attitudes affect our daily decisions, and therefore, our results. More importantly, how can we through managing our language, moods and emotions, as well as body movement and posture, frees us from our prejudice.
Never underestimate the impact of our language on our perception. In the workshop, Alan quoted an example. When asked how she would depict the relationship with her colleagues, a client used the word “battle”. It is not hard to imagine how tense the situation could be. Nevertheless, when asked to change the word into a more mutual one, such as “challenge”, the client already feels much more relaxed and that there is the possibility to resolve the conflict. Be more alert of the words you use – and you may mind as well find your life becoming much easier.
Another important lesson Alan brought out was: We always confuse judgment with facts. When we label a person, or a situation, such as, “he is difficult”, “my life is doomed” etc, we are treating those judgments like facts – and therefore the situation looks hopeless as facts cannot be changed. Having the wisdom to differentiate judgments and facts though, opens up endless possibilities to us.
If we do not get what we want, it is also because we are not making effective requests – for instance, we may have been imprecise, or the request is lost in translation (interpretation). There are ways to improve our communications, such as:
- a direct request is spoken (many times we get upset of people for not fulfilling requests that we have not explicitly expressed)
- the action to be performed is specified
- the terminology is shared
- the reason for the request is clear
- the emotional context is considered
Next time, when we encounter a difficult situation, or a person, it may not be the situation or the person that is difficult, but that we think it / he /she is difficult that make it difficult. When we can become more aware of how our beliefs and perception affects our judgment, we can allow ourselves to adopt an open mind, and different approaches.
Most grateful for Alan for sharing his wisdom with us. Even though the workshop is short, it’s extremely thought provoking and powerful.
In March, Alan will be conducting a 3-day workshop designed for Coaches, HR professionals, Team Managers looking for a deeper Coaching role in their career.
- Understand how specific linguistic actions shape reality and how they can be used effectively in coaching to shift behavior
- Observe and work with the interconnection between basic moods, body posture and language.
- Develop leadership and management excellence