My husband has a great skill of being able to make me laugh when I am angry. He is able to distract me from my anger, usually resulting in more reasonable behaviour from me. (It’s a frustrating habit from my point of view – my anger is usually well justified and I want to sit in it for a bit longer!)

Way of Being

Who we are, how we show up and how we see the world are determined by our ‘Way of Being’, which is the most basic model of Ontological Coaching#.(Ontology is the study of being – what it means to be human.) The ‘Way of Being’ is the dynamic interplay between the three domains of human existence – language, emotions and body:

  • Language encompasses speaking and listening, including the conversations we carry on in our head.
  • Emotions are how and what we feel.
  • Body includes how we hold ourselves, how we breathe, where we store tension, our body language, etc.

A shift in one of these domains causes a shift in the other two, and creates a shift in how the world shows up for us.

So when my husband makes me laugh, my Emotions shift, and my Language and Body also shift.

Your Way of Being in Communication

Considering and adjusting your Way of Being is a practical strategy for increasing the power of your communication.

A few years ago I worked with a lawyer on confidence. Experimenting with this, she found that consciously lifting her chin (shifting her Body) caused shifts in her Language and Emotions that resulted in more confident communication.

Another leader I worked with had trouble remaining calm with looming deadlines, instead treating people harshly and alienating his key stakeholders. He found the concept of ‘antidote emotions’## helped him to shift his Emotions, bringing calm to his Body and Language, and increasing the power of his communication.

Other people find it easier to adjust their Language to cause a shift in their Emotions and Body.

Try it out

How do you hold your body when you are centred and confident? And what about when you are filled with uncertainty? Now try to take on body of confidence and hold the emotions of uncertainty. Can you do it?

Over to you

Notice what’s going on with your Language, Emotions and Body. When you need to get heard and influence powerfully, shift the domain that easiest for you and enjoy an increase in confidence and effectiveness. Let me know how you go here.

If getting heard and influencing powerfully is important to your career success, join me for Cut Thru Communication on 19 June.


Have an Extraordinary day



Note# If you are interested in understanding more about Ontological Coaching, see Alan Sieler’s comprehensive book Coaching to the Human Soul – Ontological Coaching and Deep Change, published by Newfield Australia.

Note ## The concept of ‘antidote emotions’ comes from ‘Happiness: A guide to developing life’s most important skill’ by Matthieu Richard. It’s written by a French Buddhist monk who is a confident of the Dalai Lama and dubbed by US neuroscientists as the ‘happiest man they have found’. The premise of the book is that happiness is not just an emotion but a skill that can be developed.


Subscribe to our blog.