Ontological Study

At Talking About, we have a commitment to sharing the ontological approach with as many people as we can. To honour that commitment, we offer some free essays that take a more in-depth look at the ontological approach and its application.

These essays also include some questions that are designed to encourage you to reflect on how the distinctions outlined within may relate to your own experience of life.

Finally these essays are offered as a gift to you and others to help you explore your life through a different lens. Should you find any errors or wish to explore any of the ideas in more depth, I would welcome your thoughts. Please feel free to contact me through the Talking About web site or email me at cchittenden@talkingabout.com.au.

Essays include:

  1. Ontological Foundations
  2. An Ontological Approach to Language and Action
  3. An Ontological Approach to Accountability


Ontological Foundations

This essay establishes some key concepts that provide the foundations for an exploration of the human condition. These foundations will form the basis of alignment for the concepts found in our Ontological Approach as a whole and offers you a framework within which to explore life in general. These ontological foundations also establish a basis for an approach to coaching. This approach can be applied to self-coaching or coaching others and is ultimately aimed at living authentic and fulfilling lives.
Ontological Foundations
Topics in this essay include:

  • Being Authentic
  • The Basic Premise
  • The Domains of Being Human – ‘The Big Three'
  • The Circles of Control, Influence and Concern
  • Our Way of Being
  • We are Different Observers
  • The Legitimate Other
  • Human Beings in Action
  • Transparent Action
  • Breakdown
  • Two Tendencies of Human Beings
  • Our Core Concerns
  • Our Core Concerns and Relationships


An Ontological Approach to Language and Action

A new way of looking at our use of language is central to the Ontological Approach. This essay sets out the ideas of language as action and also establishes how these ideas bring new light on what it means to communicate. It also begins to explore how authority is created through linguistic acts and looks at how this underpins all of our relationships with others. This essay has been derived from one of the key papers in Talking About's coach training program.
Language and Action Essay
Topics in this essay include:

  • Linguistic Acts
  • The Temporal Nature of Human Beings and Language
  • Assertions, Declarations and Assessments
  • Requests, Offers and Promises
  • Authority and Power
  • Awarding Personal Authority
  • The Paradigm of Control
  • The Paradigm of Trust
  • Authority and Our Core Concerns
  • Grounding an Assessment


An Ontological Approach to Accountability

When people are asked about the cultural challenges in their organisation, it is not uncommon to hear them express a concern about accountability. Like many issues, much has been written on the subject yet somehow the issue persists and seems widespread. Why is this?

Accountability EssayThis essay provides a deeper understanding of accountability, what it means to be accountable and how to hold others to account. Before reading this essay, you may find it useful to understand some the concepts in more depth by reading the essay, 'An Ontological Approach to Language and Action'.

Topics in this essay include:

  • Defining accountability
  • The role of the promise
  • Accountability and organisational structure
  • Being accountable
  • Holding others accountable
  • How to move towards greater accountability