The Difference Between Being an Attorney and an Ontological Coach
I’m sure you have an idea of my work as an attorney, but do you know what I do as an ontological coach? My goal is that by the end of this article, you’ll know and you will see how you can become anything you want to be and you will want to start right now!
Almost 28 years as an attorney, some people might say that’s who I am. For a long time, that’s exactly what I said. Someone would ask, “What do you do?” and I’d say “I’m an attorney.” That is who I am, right? Or is it. Maybe it’s what I I do. When I “became” an ontological coach, though, I discovered that maybe it’s both and a whole lot more….
I became an attorney when the Florida Bar gave me a license in September of 1992. A few decades later, a friend introduced me to a leadership program based on some simple distinctions between facts and how I interpret those facts, living as a victim to life that was happening to me as opposed to actively and intentionally creating the results in my life, automatically reacting to things instead of choosing my response to them, and ultimately what it means to plug into Source and become the author of my life.
I was so affected by the training that I wanted to learn more and set out to become a transformational trainer. By the end of that program, I had learned the fundamentals of being a trainer, but really there wasn’t much more to learn with the basic distinctions of the training. They are what they are. Instead, I learned something much more surprising — I like people! Now, if that sounds strange, trust me, it really was for me. Most of my life I spent pissed off at something or another, dissatisfied with my lot, and ready to blame anyone around me for all the shitty things that I saw. People were nothing more than what you could do for me, and what I could get from you. That’s it. Something clicked in the trainer program that changed all that — I saw for the very first time my own worldview. It went something like this….
I was in the training class, and a friend of mine from another country was talking about his family back home and I had something judgmental to say about what he was thinking and feeling. Like so many judgments, I thought mine would “help” him, but it really was judgment designed to make me feel better. I didn’t see that. My friend is much younger than I am, he has a different heritage than I do, and really, his entire life experience was something that I just didn’t know about. With my extra years of “wisdom” I figured I had something valuable to say to him. And I said it.
Immediately one of the master trainers said to me, “Spoken from the white, affluent, male worldview!” With that one observation, this trainer (who would become one of my mentors) pierced through all of the masks I would put on and I saw it for the first time, my worldview. In that moment I realized that I was filtering everything through my white-ness, my male-ness, and my success (to name a few, but it’s actually a lot more than that). I thought I was listening to my friend, but I was really listening to myself filtering and interpreting all he said through my worldview!
There’s something else in that experience that I need to say to really hit home with you just what happened for me. The way the master trainer said that to me was so compassionate, so caring, and so perfectly said for my learning, that I was able to actually absorb it and learn something new about myself that had always been right under my nose! It was like she was a Jedi or something, and maybe she is in a way. I didn’t know it then, but that master trainer is also an ontological coach. And so begins my own journey as an ontological coach, and the difference between that and me as an attorney.
Chaos in every way opens up all the possibilities available to us
As an attorney, people come to me for advice and opinions. In fact, I have a card in my wallet that gives me a license to give you my opinion! (That was a joke). The point is, I’m supposed to know what I’m doing, know how to do it, and how to get the job done for you. You don’t come to me and ask me as an attorney to show you how to do it — I do it for you. Trust me, after nearly three decades of this, while I love the law, I get tired sometimes of being the one that’s always supposed to have the answers.
Ontological coaches don’t have answers. We have questions — really powerful questions that are drawn from what it is you want to focus on and why those goals are important to you. What I love about this style of coaching is that even though I know a lot as an attorney, a trainer, a business person, and all the other things I claim to be in life (dad, lover, partner, photographer, friend, son), I don’t have to know anything to effectively coach you into achieving what you want! In fact, if I start telling you how you should do it, all I do is make you reliant on me — literally you become dependent on the coach. That sucks.
As an ontological coach, my only focus is on you, what you want, and why it is important to you. Then we start to explore your worldview to see where you are at, and what shifts in your perspective are needed to accomplish what you want. I don’t have to tell you anything, because it’s already there inside of you! It’s all about you! All we do is reveal what parts of you need to be developed to go where you want to go. Imagine, someone devoted to you, what you want, and all the support you may need to have it happen. To me, this is heaven. And, as you work with me as your coach, you learn through your own practices how to work on yourself! So, coaching is not forever like therapy or other things. Coaching has a goal, and if you’re not getting where you want to go, then that coach is just not for you.
So there it is. As an attorney, I tell you how to do things. As an ontological coach, we focus on how you want to do things, and then empower you to get there. Of course, my experience as an attorney, a trainer, a photographer and all the other things I play at in my life, give me a huge base of experience to meet you where you’re at and work with you to get you where you want to go. And I guaranty that if we are a fit, and if you actually do what you say you’re going to do to get where you want to go, you will get there or I will gladly refund everything you’ve paid. Schedule a discovery call — free of charge and without obligation — so that we can explore what you want to create! I assure you that you will have a powerful coaching experience with me and you will see new possibilities for yourself that you will want to start right now!