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A - Z Coaching and Mentoring - This week's extract outlines Ontology - where it stems from, what it involves and the role of Ontological coaching in supporting people to achieve their goals and create a new way of being.

Don't forget if you have a special request for a definition of a coaching term or principle, just let us know! Perfect for anyone studying for an ILM Coaching & Mentoring qualification, or as a refresher for experienced coaches.


Ontology is the study of being, which can be described as the interaction of language, emotions and body.

Ontological coaching creates a shift in a person’s way of being in a way that is consistent with their goals and future desires. This type of coaching has emerged from philosophy rather than psychology and aims to create a change in all three areas of language, body and emotion.

Ontological coaching stems from the work of a number of Chileans in the 1980s (Humberto Maturana, Fernando Flores and Rafael Echeverria). Many coaches will be working with all of these three areas (language, emotions and body) already, without even realising that it exists as a distinct and robust approach. Certified ontological coach training is available.

"Ontological Coaching is about generating shifts in a coachee's 'way of being'. A human's way of being is not a fixed state but one of continual change and the role of the Ontological Coach is to work with their others to design a way of being that the coachee assesses serves them best." (talkingabout.com)

Taken from the A-Z Coaching Handbook by Clare Smale where you will find a comprehensive A-Z, plus a full list of references.


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