One of my current projects is an action research project related to my coaching.
The fun aspect of doing such a project is that it follows the action research methodology and makes it more accessible.
But basically, it is about what I do, thus the action, and how I find out what it is I’m doing, thus the research.
Now, as this relates to my coaching, the research involves three types of knowledge. These are “know-that”, know-how, and personal knowledge. Or described differently, these are factual knowledge, procedural knowledge, and all the knowledge I’ve transformed into intuition and experience. The ambition of such a project is to create a new theory. It can become a conceptual theory as much as a theory of practice. The first is the one most widely known, using the scientific method, whereas the second can be described as the ability to describe what I do and why I chose what I do when I’m coaching.
One could thus say that action research is based on the idea of trying things out and using the result to come to an assessment of what worked and what didn’t work.
Well, that’s the same process as learning to walk.
Where action research differs from the trial-and-error approach is that it adds the responsibility to produce authenticated evidence of the claim made as well as to test the truthfulness or validity of such claims. It adds a layer of depth to the process of making a claim and assumes an ethical approach to the used professionalism.
Well, that’s saying what you do and doing what you say.
But there is still more to it.
And that is the willingness to walk on the edge of the unknown. It is taking what feels like something that is known and asking oneself what in it isn’t known. And once the question is in the open it means stepping into an action that will reveal something new.
Well, that’s working on being mindful and becoming a better professional.
It is accepting the task to “know for oneself.”