Ontological Coaching: An Holistic Approach to Building Collaborative and High Performance Cultures.
Recognising the critical role managers and leaders have in shaping the future of the organisation a collaboration between Southcare and Anne Courtney has resulted in the development of a “Spirit of Leadership” Program that can be offered to values-based organisations.
The program was developed based on ontology (an ongoing inquiry into what it means to be human and how the way in which we observe the world creates or limits possibility for us) and the premise that the primary skill we have for getting work done in organisations is through relationships and conversations. The quality of our relationships and conversations has great bearing on the effectiveness of work and an organisation’s capacity to meet its purpose effectively. Fundamentally, the program teaches staff to develop their own unique ‘Way of Being’ in developing relationships and conversations. As leaders we need to be powerful observers of this ‘Way of Being’; build on our strengths; and be aware of our limitations. Leaders also need to be excellent conversationalists and communicators whilst dealing with the complexity of leading within an organisation. Program participants are drawn from within and external to an organisation to facilitate development of relationships to achieve broader organisational and community objectives.
The programs that are conducted at Southcare comprise of two-day, one day and half day workshops spread over six months, modules include: learning to learn as a leader and as an organisation; understanding the critical role of communication and listening in leadership; the language of a leader in generating new possibilities; understanding the distinction between facts and opinions and what that means for decision making; leading with a coaching approach as a way of empowering staff; making and managing commitments (including making requests and giving feedback on work produced or not produced); and choosing moods and emotions that best serve the leader and the organisation.
Results from programs conducted since 2008 ( in not-for-profit organisations) has provided encouraging evidence of how the elements within the ontological coaching methodology increase leadership effectiveness and cultural change.
Program facilitators and authors : Dr Nicky Howe and Mrs Anne Courtney