One of the key differentiators of the Embodiment Coaching is that it is grounded in a rigorous and substantive theoretical framework – ontology, the study of “being”. When a leader is said to have “presence,” it is his or her “way of being” that is being referred to.
To clarify what “being” is, let us contrast the conventional paradigm of “Have-Do-Be” pushed by marketing executives all around the world with the “Be-Do-Have” paradigm that Newfield coaches use. An advertisement may show a guy riding a racy bike that impresses an attractive girl who falls for him. The message being pushed is that only if you “have” the bike (by bying it) will you be able to “do” certain things (like attracting good-looking women) and therefore “be” a certain kind of person (i.e., cool and sexy). However, our understanding is that the order is completely reversed. Bill Gates needed to “be” a risk taker in order to “do” certain things like quit college and start his own company. Only then was he able to “have” fame and fortune. It all originated with his “way of being.”
A person’s way of being refers to how that person perceives the world. It determines the actions he would consider taking, which ultimately determine the results he creates.
The results we create, therefore, provide feedback on our way of being and how we observe the world. So for example, if a person were working in a safe but boring job – it would indicate that he perceived the world as a risky place and placed a premium on security. He would only be able to become a succesful entrepreneur if he fundamentally shifted the way he saw the world – as a place primarily full of opportunities rather than threats. He would have to shift his way of being.
A person’s way of being can be understood more clearly by breaking it up into three areas – the way he uses language, the mood he generates, and the way he uses his body.
If a boss asks a subordinate whether he will be able to complete a project on time, there is a big difference between the answerd “yes” and “I’ll try”. By being conscious of the different uses and abuses of language, we can become far more effective in creating what we want to achieve with others. The problem is that we are so used to the language we habitually use (including the internal conversations in our head) that we don’t realise what we are generating. Language has long been considered an inert tool that describes reality. But Newfield coaches understand that language is actually highly active and in fact generates reality, as we perceive it. Newfield coaches are highly sensitised to the various distinctions and can helpt their clients learn to employ language far more effectively.
Moods and Emotions
Many times we have fights with a loved one and know on some level that we should apologise or make a peace offering. However, we are unable to take that action because we are stuck in the emotion on stubbornness. Our moods and emotions also determine our “way of being” and the results we create. A client who is predominantly in the mood of anger will produce very different results from one who is predominantly in the mood of gratitude. This is an area that most basic coaching models completely miss. Newfield coaches understand the importance of practices that will help their clients learn to stay more consistently in a mood that is effective for creating what they want.
The way a person uses his body also determines how he perceives the world. The simple act of deliberately uncrossing one’s arms facilitates a more open way of being. Standing up straight can increase a person’s confidence. Newfield trained coaches become adept at coaching people on how to shift their body so as to create shifts in their way of being. In the Newfield coach-training programme, there are two trainers, one of whom works exclusively on showing participants how to use their body to generate the appropriate non-verbal presence for the situation they are dealing with.
Language, moods, and body are all coherent. A shift in one can produce shifts in the other two, and so this creates multiple entry points into shifting a person’s way of being which, as we’ve discussed, determines the results they create.