LeadU presents Why DYNAMIC INQUIRY is a linchpin for COACH2 Developmental Coaching

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Why DYNAMIC INQUIRY (DI) is a linchpin for COACH2 Developmental Coaching?


I could say that DI is critical for ANY developmental coaching, but I’ll let the other models answer that question for themselves. I’ll try to keep the answer as short and as simple as I can for this treatise.

Axiom 1:
Most of adult development recognizes that people develop through stages.

Axiom 2:
Developmental stages are discreet “enough” that each stage has a particular set of algorithms that make them germane to that stage.

With that being said, the necessity of two main criteria appear:

1. What is the person’s developmental stage?
2. What are the characteristics of that stage that make its algorithmic activity different than other stages?

I have found, that not understanding where people are in that stage (entering, nodal, or exiting) leads you to misapply strategy and tactics which wastes scarce resources, and like we say in Nebraska, “it’s like trying to teach a pig to sing… it doesn’t work and it annoys the pig.”

In order to answer these questions over time, it’s necessary to get verifiable data on the meaning-making system of the person being helped.

“In psychology, meaning-making is the process of how persons construe, understand, or make sense of life events, relationships, and the self.” -Ignelzi

The other major issue in developmental coaching is the type and speed of development that is occurring and what is required based on the “rate of development.”

Succinctly, there are four developmental “directions” and I have labeled them as Vertical, Oblique, Lateral and Time and it’s easy to remember them using the VOLume/T or “VOLT” for short.

Since anything can be reduced to energy and information, VOLT seems an appropriate acronym to me.

It’s important to remember and understand these developmental directions because each has its own requirements, even though they are interdevelopmental.

Back to the original question?

How can you get this verifiable data used in our ladders of inference: to draw inferences = data → perception → experience → conclusion?

Well, in search of data, developmentalists have elicited many forms of cues, supports and scaffolds with which to build appropriate cases for efficient, effective, and sustainable development.

And that circles back to an important answer to question #2 above:

“What are the characteristics of that stage that make its algorithmic activity different than other stages?”

And when we identify those criteria, how do we cue, support, and scaffold optimal development?

You can see that developmental coaching is like opening a can of worms!

Fortunately for us, DYNAMIC INQUIRY can be separated from the knowledge base of adult development, which serves two purposes:

1. To allow us to learn the skills of DI without having to be well-versed in adult developmental models, which in and of itself can be overwhelming, depending on your approach.
2. And having learned the skill can ― overtime begin to deploy cues, support, and scaffolding in the process of helping and guiding.

Even though inquiry and development are intersubjective, DI supports cuing, support, and scaffolding without deep dives into the quagmire of adult development because it can be used with any developmental direction, most of which involve imparting KSEs [Knowledge, Skills, Experience] in horizontal frames emerging from lateral complexity.

The question of questions then is how do we learn DYNAMIC INQUIRY?

Just click HERE for more information.



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Mike R. Jay is a developmentalist utilizing consulting, coaching, mentoring and advising as methods to offer developmental scaffolding for aspiring leaders who are interested in being, doing, having, becoming, and contributing… to helping people have lives.

Mike R. Jay
Leadership University


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