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Presence-Based Coaching

Cultivating Self-Generative Leaders Through Mind, Body, and Heart

This book builds on the first to explore the essential contribution of presence as a meta-competency for human development.

The book offers a practical map to the territory of working with presence, both within yourself and in your coaching and developing of others. We explore presence as an essential element of human learning and development.

The book maps how presence accelerates and deepens the development process, and offers reliable practices for accessing presence. Extensive coaching moves for bringing presence into coaching are brought to life through illustrative dialogs. Concrete models, extensive references and pragmatic examples ground a robust toolkit for building your own presence and extending it to others.

With a foreword by Richard Strozzi-Heckler

Table of Contents

Part One: Presence, Self-Generation, and Coaching

  1. Presence
  2. How Humans Change: Conditioning, Identity, and Self-Generation
  3. Coach as Development Partner

Part Two: Inner Moves

  1. Orienting
  2. Holding

Part Three: Generative Practices

  1. Mind
  2. Body
  3. Heart

Part Four: Relational Moves

  1. Coach for Self-Observation and Realization
  2. Coach for Re-Organization
  3. Coach for Stabilization
  4. Entry, Continuation, Ending


“Presence-Based Coaching is a powerful guide for those who believe that presence is one of the most important qualities that leaders need. This is essential for coaches and leaders doing the work of developing themselves and others.”

Alfred L. Cooke, Ph.D.
Director, Center for Organizational Performance

What Others Say

Richard J. Leider

Doug Silsbee nails it, giving us a doorway to experience the power of presence, and to bring it to bear on the development of authentic, purpose-driven leaders. This book is a sensible, grounded must-read!

Richard J. Leider Founder, The Inventure Group, and author, The Power of Purpose

Nancy Light

If intention and authenticity in relationships is of interest, this is for you. Doug offers a supportive and challenging invitation to explore growth and change in ourselves and others.

Nancy Light Senior Associate Director of Philanthropy, The Nature Conservancy

Diana Whitney, Ph.D.

Presence-Based Coaching is uplifting and practical. It is an essential read for coaches, and for leaders wanting to be professionally effective while living a balanced life. This book radiates presence while offering pragmatic business examples.

Diana Whitney, Ph.D. President, Corporation for Positive Change, and co-author, The Power of Appreciative Inquiry

Anne S. Davidson

This book breaks important new ground for coaches, leaders, facilitators and consultants. Doug goes far beyond basics to generously share the wisdom and techniques that built his reputation as a leading coach with over twenty years of success in helping his clients achieve and sustain results.

Anne S. Davidson Associate, Roger Schwarz and Associates, and coauthor, Facilitative Coaching

Charles Tombazian

Silsbee has done it again! Presence-Based Coaching reaches beyond techniques into an exploration of the value inherent in presence itself. Doug’s passion for the territory, combined with insightful exercises and practices, engaged me in a deeply reflective journey about the impact my being– versus my doing- has on the results I seek to create.

Charles Tombazian Vice-President, Voice of the Customer Office, Avnet Technology Solutions

Robert C. Pianta, Ph.D

Silsbee’s new book is essential reading for educators at any level. He is exquisitely articulate about how learning is enabled through the interaction between people-the very essence of the educator’s role. It is a gift to us that he has so carefully and precisely written about it.

Robert C. Pianta, Ph.D Dean, Curry School of Education, University of Virginia

Marshall Goldsmith

As a coach and a Buddhist, I love this philosophy! It is hard to help others be mindful – if we aren’t. This book offers great ideas on how to do both. This book can help leaders – and coaches – have better lives.

Marshall Goldsmith New York Times best-selling author of What Got You There Won’t Get You There.

Publication and Ordering

2008, Jossey-Bass
ISBN: 0-0470-32509-7
Order from Amazon or your local independent bookstore