“Multidisciplinary”       “Uniquely powerful”       “Transformative”

Words our clients often use when they talk about our work.

Our approach to strengthening collaboration and organizational performance is built on decades of professional experience in senior organizational leadership, executive coaching, mediation and facilitating organizational change.  We integrate current advances in the cognitive, biological and social sciences with deep expertise in the martial arts, and other mind/body performance disciplines. The following disciplines are central to our approach…

Ontological Coaching.  Ontological coaching is an approach to individual and organizational performance that has grown out of the emerging body of work known as “The Ontology of Language,” or the “Language-Action” approach. This approach reflects a radical new understanding about the role that language plays in shaping our perceptions, behaviors, thoughts and feelings–and thus our performance. This new perspective enables us to leverage the “action” inherent in language to improve our conversations, to learn collaboratively with others and to transform individual and team performance.  Click on the accordion tab below to read more about Ontological Coaching.

Action Science. Action Science is an approach to improving organizational performance that focuses on helping individuals and teams who are faced with complex and/or socially challenging problems to think and behave in ways that enable them to solve their problems while also learning about and addressing the conditions which gave rise to the problems in the first place. Click on the accordion tab below to read more about Action Science.

Aikido.

Ontological Coaching

Ontological Coaching.  Ontological coaching is an approach to individual and organizational performance that has grown out of the emerging body of work known as “The Ontology of Language,” or the “Language-Action” approach. This approach reflects a radical new understanding about the role that language plays in shaping our perceptions, behaviors, thoughts and feelings–and thus our performance. This new perspective enables us to leverage the “action” inherent in language to improve our conversations, to learn collaboratively with others and to transform individual and team performance.

Ontological coaching is based upon a synthesis of theoretical and practical work in linguistics, biological and physical sciences, philosophy and systems theory, with strong roots in “speech act theory” pioneered by Dr. J.L. Austin at Oxford University in the 1950s, and later Dr. John Searle at the University of California, Berkeley, and others. Dr. Fernando Flores first introduced the study of speech acts into the business world, and Dr. Rafael Echeverria has expanded and deepened this discipline through his many articles, books, including “Ontologia del Lenguaje” (The Ontology of Language”), and highly successful international training programs including “The Art of Business Coaching”.

Grayson James and Kathy James were both trained by Dr. Echeverria and have been certified Ontological Coaches since the mid-1990s.  Grayson is also a colleague and former business partner with Dr. Echeverria, and he continues to collaborate with Dr. Echeverria and his firm, Newfield Consulting.

Action Science

Action Science is an approach to improving organizational performance that focuses on helping individuals and teams who are faced with complex and/or socially challenging problems to think and behave in ways that enable them to solve their problems while also learning about and addressing the conditions which gave rise to the problems in the first place.

Action science recognizes that teams and organizations in almost every culture engage in a fairly typical set of habitual “defensive” behaviors that inhibit them from identifying and addressing critical organizational problems. These defensive behaviors or routines prevent people from reflecting together on their own how their cognitive and conversational patterns and recognizing how these patterns actually allow deeply entrenched and serious organizational problems to remain unaddressed, to the detriment of the individuals themselves as well as their organizations (and despite the individual’s best intentions).

Traditional approaches to improving organizational problem-solving or decision-making typically focus on identifying opportunities, finding, correcting, reducing or eliminating threats in the external environment (including in other members of the team or organization). In contrast, Action Science provides tools and practices that reorient individuals to look inward, reflecting on their own thinking and habitual behaviors (the source of the most intractable and challenging problems) as well as to collaboratively evaluate external factors that may be contributing to the entrenched organizational problems. It helps teams to identify, discuss and resolve problems candidly together by publicly testing their own and each other’s assumptions, opinions, and hypotheses. This facilitates collaborative learning and enables teams to address previously undiscussable and thorny issues at a much deeper level than was previously available to them.

Action Science has its roots in the work of John Dewey, Kurt Lewin and others in the early 1900s, and over the past 40 to 50 years was developed into a rigorous and effective domain of organizational inquiry and performance practice by Chris Argyris, Ph.D., Donald Schön, Ph.D., and Robert Putnam, among others.

Aikido

Non-Violent Communication

Mindfulness & Mind/Body Performance Practices

Conflict Resolution & Facilitating Change Initiatives

Coaching & Consulting

“Since working with Grayson James Consultants, my employees meet my needs much better than before. Why? Because they have a better sense of their responsibilities, limits and opportunities. I make requests more respectfully and clearly, and they communicate their problems better. As a result, my trust in them has improved.”

“GJC brought unique insights about organizational behavior, and a dedication to truth. They introduced deep and broad meaning to the very common concepts of trust, conversation, and commitment.”

“Several people have commented on the changes in my listening skills and my mood…
I am more effective in my work interactions and I am having more fun at work.”