I finished my doctoral research project about four years ago now and before I embarked on it, I saw myself very much as a practitioner. An academic was remote, untouchable and in ivory towers, in libraries or in academic environments. But through engaging in my project, I was able to discover that there is actually a real blend if we find the right approach for us, as practitioners, to investigate and enquire into our world of relational practice.
So I chose a methodology called action research, which is familiar to many in action learning sets, or in Honey and Mumford’s learning styles, or in Kolb’s learning theory of ‘plan, act, observe, reflect’.
What I have found, as a result of engaging in my research project, and subsequently, is that if we approach all our work from a place of enquiry and curiosity, seeing what is happening between ourselves and our clients as data, we can suspend our judge or the emotional triggers we may get caught up in, and use the data of what is happening to inform what we may do, or what the client may need to do next.
When I’m not sure what to do next, I pause and say, just one step, let’s explore, what is the data telling us? That helps me find a way to move forward on to the next step.
Photo by João Silas on Unsplash