These practices offered are gathered from people we know who have taken on the task of developing their capacity for Inquiry-in-Action. The contributors of these practices come from ten countries on four different continents.
The practices are arranged as follows:
By Myself: Those to do on your own—these may be referred to as “1st person” practices.
By Myself with Others: Those to do with others—these may be referred to as “2nd person”practices.
By Myself in the System: Those to do in a larger system or group—these may be referred to as “3rd person” practices.
Here are a few suggestions about how you might approach them.
As with all new learning, the best advice is to slow down, find your own style and preferences and introduce some discipline.
You may be familiar with your own style of learning, and it may be reflective, action-oriented, theoretical or pragmatic—in most cases a combination of all of these. Yet you are likely to have a preference, a default style that you tend to fall back on when starting something new. The style we suggest you adopt is one of intentionally developing your capacity to engage in Inquiry-in-Action. If you are action-oriented, you may need to slow down in order to access the value of reflection. If you are more of a reflecting person or a theorist, you may need to speed up to get into the action.
As a beginning learner you might want to start with the focus that seems most relevant to your circumstances. To do this, ask yourself honestly which area you feel a personal need to develop in. You might ask not only yourself, but also close colleagues, friends or family.
Am I most authentic and aware when I’m together with a few others in my work relationships, or when I’m contributing to the larger groups that I’m engaged with?