Site Sections

Ontological coaching

Ontology means our “way of being” and in the ontological methodology we work with three interrelated domains: language, emotions and physiology (body posture). Through a deeper understanding of the role of language in human change, the practicalities of emotional intelligence, and the importance of body intelligence, we can help you transform leadership, create high performance teams and implement change successfully. At Limbic Human Capital we are indebted to the ontological learning we have experienced from Alan Sieler and the Newfield Institute.


Communication is a two-way process: language is as much about listening as it is speaking. Language is also fundamental to generating what comprises “reality” for people. People act because of what they perceive to be reality so effective leadership and team behaviour depends a lot on how people use language. What people do and how well they do it, is deeply impacted by they use or fail to use language. Ontological coaching uses precise linguistic tools to improve communication productivity. Our work with clients includes Listening, Speaking and Better Conversations.

Moods and Emotions

We are always in some mood or emotion; moods and emotions permeate everything we do. Recent research on the human brain has improved our understanding of the processes in the Limbic system – the part of the brain that supports emotional processing. The Limbic system is a critical driver of the way we operate as humans.

Moods or emotions predispose people towards certain behaviours and not others. A person’s effectiveness in communicating with others (speaking, listening and engaging in conversations) is highly integrated with their moods and emotions. Moods and emotions are consequently crucial to morale and organizational performance. Ontological coaching includes a framework for deeper emotional intelligence to support shifts from negative moods to positive moods.

Physiology and Body Posture

As Alan Sieler of the Newfield Institute has said, physiology and body posture seem to be unlikely areas of attention for organizational performance and improvement. “But like moods and emotions,” says Sieler, “the body has largely been ignored as a key area of learning that impacts on individual and organizational performance.”

Actors and singers provide us with great examples of people who vocalise with their whole posture not just their vocal chords. A person’s posture consists of subtle musculoskeletal configurations that have been learned throughout life. As Sieler explains: “In many subtle and powerful ways, posture can keep people trapped in negative moods, and negatively impact on listening and speaking.”

At Limbic Human Capital, using an ontological approach includes listening to how clients speak. This includes pitch, pace, breathing, posture, gestures and movement. Being perceptive to these aspects can generate powerful insight for clients and help them to be more resourceful in difficult conversations or situations with difficult people.

Ontological coaching explicitly acknowledges the research that demonstrates the two-way link between physiology and the way we operate in the world. Body language, posture and our viscera are intricately connected with our moods, the way we communicate, our outlook and our actions.

Contact us

To discuss how we can help you



+ 852 3487 8891