Abintus Coaching Resources

Gregory Bateson developed Logic Levels. They are based on Bertrand Russell’s earlier work in maths and logic. Bateson’s logic levels relate to processes and systems within groups or individuals. These hierachical levels link through their relationships with other processes. For a coach, familiarity with logic levels adds depth to their communication and coaching styles. It also allows them to deeply explore processes potentially affecting their client.


Logic levels are a structured way to understand what’s happening in certain systems. Systems such as in teams, peer groups, project teams and the manager and peer relationship etc. Clients may not see the myriad of levels or systems they are operating in. Nor will they necessarily see mindset or behavioural themes between the levels or systems. 

This approach creates powerful awareness and personal change. Enabling clients to consider situations and relationships in a structured, more progressive way. Additionally, it allows the coach to process and manage the information from the client in a more structured way.

Coaches use of logic levels

Coaches use Bateson’s logic levels in a few ways with their clients:

Questioning approach – by adding precision and depth by questioning and exploring each level in turn:

  • Environment– what’s happening in the team at the moment in relation to the changes?
  • Behaviour– what are the effects of this on your role as their team leader?
  • Capability– how are you identifying skill or knowledge gaps from this in your leadership?
  • Beliefs and Values– why do you feel so strongly about this?
  • Identity– what could this tell you about leadership or you as a leader?

Next, the coach listens to the language and emphasis to determine where the issues might be originating from. If the client shares – I don’t know how to lead the project management meeting with the senior managers

  • I don’t know how to lead the project management meeting – Identity
  • don’t know how to lead the project management meeting – Beliefs
  • I don’t know how to lead the project management meeting – Capabilities
  • I don’t know how to lead the project management meeting– Environment

The coach identifies where discussions are focus, and solutions found. It allows for constructive challenge of a situation. Additionally, the higher up the hierarchy the conversation is, the more powerful the challenge is for the client. Similarly, the coach reduces challenge by exploring the lower levels.

Finally, the higher levels need more reflection and mental effort to unpack and understand. Through logic levels clients develop a greater awareness of the elements and influences around them and from their systems.