LeadU presents Dynamic Inquiry


Dynamic Inquiry

There is an EES (Efficient, Effective, & Sustainable) way to approach Dynamic Inquiry.  I’ve developed it and used it in every form of inquiry and dialogue I’ve ever been involved with since I started professional coaching.  It was a learning experience over time, in which I knew that there was more to this than what I could see.

So how could I approach learning to do active inquiry, rather than just doing active listening, which I later found GOT IN THE WAY of really hearing anything?

This story is short, but long in the making.

I realized after repeated failures and sub-optimization that if I couldn’t understand where my client was, it would be hard for me to scaffold them well.  I didn’t use the term scaffolding then.  However, that is the best description of what we can do through Dynamic Inquiry.

The bottom line?

Learning to use Ping, Probe, Prompt, Permit, Perturb, Pause, and Pace was the most EES thing I ever put together.  Even though today, I’m hardly an EES listener, but the tiny bit I do get, is because of this system of Dynamic Inquiry.

Fortunately for me, I’ve always been an "Intuitive" knowing person before realizing how I knew it, I just did.  Sometimes it took years to explain and unravel the reasons and the scaffolding that already was in place, only to figure out that indeed, I did know it, just couldn’t tell you why.

Since, I doubt few people have this gift to any large extent, I tried to unravel the model of knowing, and how I used my own gifts to know.  Dynamic Inquiry was born over a decade.

Simply, I look at several ways to "engage" someone, when I can be conscious about it.  In the event I’m not, I can look at what happened through the rear view mirror of Dynamic Inquiry.

It takes quite a while to explain this method.  However, I wanted to at least put it in the TPOV map of FLOS because it’s what led me to inquire about the BS nature of things.  I wanted to understand why the tip of the iceberg of BS can be understood by getting the person you are working with, to engage, to reveal where they are in the process of understanding themselves and the BS Subject/Object Relationship –> how much “in” the BS, vs. “of” the BS.

Here they are, simply to give you an idea:

7Ps: Ping, Probe, Prompt, Permit, Perturb,Pause, Pace from less invasive to more invasive.

Ping: to "see" or observe what might be there: "Is that gold in them, thar hills?"
Probe: to get more info about something already there: "Can you say more about that?"
Prompt: to get a specific answer about something based on an implicit or explicit assumption.  "Who, What, When, Where, Why, Which, How"
Permit: to encourage disclosure, venting, or revelation.  "Will you speak to…?”
Perturb: to incite, or badger (Nebraska term<G>) someone into an emotional explanation.  "Is that something that bothers you?"
Pause: to take a breath and give the PBC [Person Being Coached] time to respond.
Pace: how we time things, how fast or slow we allow things to move; how quickly we give cues, structure scaffolding, generate support, or seek to offer lift.

Helpful Hint: Learning when to use each “P” can be Profoundly Engaging.  It is a set of tools to help you listen and hear capability.

Action Step: The next time you have an opportunity to consciously engage someone and listen, try shorter, closed-end questions, rather than open-ended questions.  You’ll be amazed at what you get with what you thought was a closed-end approach.

In my many years, if someone was interested in engaging, a closed-ended question always revealed more than an open-ended question and it’s counter intuitive once you begin to understand how to frame them, such that they don’t close, but in fact, open people to dynamic inquiry.

If you have any comments, questions, suggestions, or need some additional help, please use the form below to submit them.  Someone will get back to you within 48 hours.  Or if you prefer, at the bottom of this page leave your comment and someone will get back to you.

    We hope you pick up valuable insights, ideas, and tools during this process, which you can use for your own development as well as your work and leadership with others.

    You, Me, and We @F-L-O-W

    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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