“The future is not some place we are going, but one we are creating. The paths are not to be found, but made. And the activity of making them changes both the maker and the destination.”
– John Schaar

Our Coaching Philosophy & Approach | A Message from Colleen

I help leaders understand their value at a deep level of consciousness and, from there, guide them to take actions toward ways they can thrive personally and professionally. Some Executive Coaches specialize in helping their clients with tactical and transactional activities.

I strive for results that are much longer-lasting. I am a Transformational Coach. This means that, in alignment with my own personality and interests, I tend to work pretty deep. I am less interested in the “what?” (although I have helped hundreds achieve that!) and much more interested in the “why?” – the knowledge of which can only lead to the highest levels of joy, productivity and fulfillment.

Oar Model

Authentic Leadership International’s coaching method is ontologically founded and based on the OAR and BEL models taught by the Newfield Network and adapted from works by Gregory Bateson, Chris Argyris, Donald A. Schon and Peter Senge.

At ALI, we believe that focusing solely on actions without first changing one’s perspective toward the situation only produces more of the same (often ineffective) results. To truly change the results, an emphasis on the way the “observer” (the client) perceives herself and the world around her must be made.

The school of coaching (the Newfield Network) from which I graduated focuses on Ontological Coaching.

What is “Ontological,” you might be asking?

“Ontology” is the study of being and Ontological Coaching is about coaching a way of being, as a means of producing major shifts in the way we see and in the way we act – through all aspects of communication.

My coaching is ontologically founded and based on the OAR (Observer-Action-Results) and BEL (Body-Emotion-Language) models taught by the Newfield Network and adapted from works by Gregory Bateson, Chris Argyris, Donald A. Schon and Peter Senge.

Many times, when we do not like the results we are getting, we first change our actions. But focusing on actions without first changing our perspective (“observer”) toward the situation or person only produces more of the same results. To truly transform the results, we need to prioritize the way we/ the “observer” perceive ourselves and our place in the world around us.

This is done through bringing in the domains of physiology (body posture), emotions & moods and language. I work with you to expand your own “observer” so that you, too, can see with new eyes. From this new perspective of the observer, you will be ablate take truly effective action and the desired results (and more!) can be achieved with more ease.

What you can expect in working with me is:

  • Regular (about every 3-4 weeks) 1-hour conversations (if virtual)
  • And, if we meet in person, I would suggest 1.5-2 hour sessions
  • Each of these conversations strives to reach “mini” goals – each of which lead up to the over-arching goal you have set for yourself.
  • Between each coaching conversation, I usually suggest a small piece of homework which could take one of many different forms: an article to read, a clip to watch or some writing to do. This is meant to reinforce your learning in between our sessions and, very often, to bring to light new understandings of yourself.

Not sure what to work on? No worries! I have plenty of experience helping leaders like yourself hone in on what you would really like to shift.

In between our conversations, I usually send along a resource (relevant article, video, etc.) and I ask you to make a commitment to yourself (to carry out a small practice – again, in alignment with what you say you want for yourself).

I also do regular check-ins with you, to make sure things/you are progressing in a way that’s pleasing to you so we can make sure to make any adjustments right away. In this loosely structured way, our coaching becomes more tangible and you are sure to manifest whatever intention you set for yourself through our time together.

Discover more about how the Triple-Loop Learning System brings together the domains of physiology and body posturemoods and emotions, and language below…

Moods & Emotions:

Our moods matter – in both our personal and professional lives. Our thinking determines our moods, it creates our own reality, and it is a primary driver of our behaviors.

As such, the results we achieve are the outcome of our behaviors. That’s why an understanding of how to shift ourselves from limiting moods to more enabling ones is essential.

The leadership coaches at ALI guide clients to use moods and emotions to develop more effective, influential communication – and to encourage this in others. 

moods and emotions | emotional intelligence

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Physiology & Body Posture:

We carry our biographies in our biologies.

 93% of our language is non-verbal. Not surprisingly, in addition to revealing to others how we feel about ourselves – like if we’re afraid to have that courageous conversation – our tone and pitch of voice, eye level and roundness of shoulders can have a lot to do with our success.

Posture can also keep people trapped in negative moods, thereby having a substantial impact on listening and speaking. Our executive coaches help you understand how to use your body to enter into more constructive, productive moods. Even small shifts in body posture can generate a more positive outlook, thus producing more effective communication.


What we experience physiologically, feel emotionally, or recite aloud (or in our heads) influences our impact.

People act from what comprises reality for them. Language is used to produce outcomes and generate realties. How language is used (or not used) strongly impacts effectiveness in leadership, management, coaching, and team behavior.

Examining your own language can help you uncover destructive narratives so you can develop more powerful – and empowering – ones.

language and behaviors

Learn more here