3 SOIAcademic research tool rooted in constructive- developmental theory of psychologyPsychology – not coaching!'assessment procedure' – Lahey et alMeasures an individual's mental complexityUses 10 index cards with key words/phrasesTrained interviewer and second scorerRecorded, transcribed and analysed using a scoring 'card'
6 Constructive Developmental Theory What forms of meaning making can be discernedWhat IS the experience of meaning-makingconstructiveWhat are the costs to the individualWhy do people shift between systems?development
7 How the SOI works (1)Seeks to uncover the meaning-making system at work in the individualMeaning-making = “what really happens in the personal construction of interpersonal and intrapersonal experiencing” and “self- constituted apprehensions of the truth” (Lahey et al., p1)
8 How the SOI works (2)The SOI maps what the interviewee can take a perspective on (object to them) and what remains beyond their field of vision (subject to)It is easy to confuse story content with structure in the interview:Content are wordsStructure is the syntax, interpreting and ordering the words to have meaning
9 Kegan's Orders of Mind Stage Embedded in Stage 1: Impulsive Mind FamilyStage 2: Imperial MindSchool and familyStage 3: Socialised MindOne-to-one reciprocal relationshipsStage 4: Self-Authoring MindGroup involvement in career and/or public lifeStage 5: Self-Transforming MindSelf-surrender to intimacy in love and work
12 Stages and inbetween Five stages, of which three in adulthood “Midzones” (Berger, 2012) or “disequilibrial developmental positions” (Lahey et al., 2011) in betweenKegan is most interested in the midzones – this is where the movement isFour positions between two stages – 21 positions in total
14 SOI = psychometricBritish Psychological Society (BPS) says that a psychometric test is one that is based on psychological theoryMethod of application is not as important as validity and reliabilityTest must be standardised – can be applied and scored consistently by different practitionersAssessment: “a serious and meaningful intent and which, if misused, may result in personal loss or psychological distress” – ITC (International Test Commission)
15 “the SOI offers a window into someone's meaning-making system” Why does this matter?“the SOI offers a window into someone's meaning-making system”(Berger, 2012, p.50)“a given system of meaning organises our thinking, feeling and acting over a wide range of human functioning”(Kegan, 1980, p.374)
16 Why SOI in (developmental) coaching? Measuring mental complexity is useful:Coachee: finding out about blind spots – where the things are that keep them from moving onCoach: those blind spots are the playing field – the edge of meaning (Berger, 2004): getting the shift (the shift represents the holy grail)The SOI approach appears to be suitable for coaching: it's an interview, not a testBut: why measure anything? Do we need all that detail?
17 The 'problem' with the SOI It takes a 3-day intensive workshop to learn the basicsIt takes months of practice runs to hone the skillAnd then: use it or lose it!Considerable knowledge of the theory is requiredIt takes a second scorer to complete the procedure – takes time, no instant resultsthe procedure is labour intensiveThis makes the SOI expensive to use in coaching – pay-off?It's the relative unknown in the psychometrics marketAlso: human interviewer prone to limitations and errorSecond scorer will not know about missed opportunities in the interviewMuch depends on rapport with the intervieweeVery little data in the guide on stage 5 – it's the stage we know least about
19 The research projectTeaching myself the SOI with just the guide and Berger and Kegan's worksTry it out on some brave peopleSee what happens
20 The research question What does it take to master the SOI on your own? Can it be self-taught to an acceptable, professional degree?How do we know we've reached that level?Ethics?What would be the benefits to coachee and coach?
21 Implications for the profession Is the autodidact SOI (ASOI) acceptable as a psychometric?What would it add to a coach's practice?On ethics: how is inviting a client to do the ASOI different from doing the MBTI for ex.?How to contract on it? When to do the ASOI?Can the ASOI be considered an assessment at all?
22 Methodology: Heuristic Inquiry Concepts and processes:Identify with the focus of the inquirySelf-dialogueTacit KnowingIntuitionIndwellingFocussingInternal Frame of Reference(adapted from Hiles, 2002)
23 Data generation, collection and analysis Initial Engagement: discovery of the research questionImmersion: intense engagement with the questionIncubation: withdrawal and detachment from intense engagement with the questionIllumination: new insights emerge through tacit knowing as a result of detachmentExplication: bringing new insights into consciousness and reflectionCreative Synthesis: integration of data, resulting in new insights and knowledgeValidation of the heuristic research by checking meaning and sharing with others(Hiles, 2002)
24 Limitations of the HITimeframe – always too short, poss. impacts on validityBiased – limited by the principal's own ability (in my case my own mental complexity on top of limits to my patience, discipline, resilience, intelligence, academic rigour...)BUT: still replicable
25 The ASOI 4 weeks of solid immersion in the guide Reflection journal kept throughout – insights came at unpredictable timesUnable to read anything else at that timeWrote mini-guide – 6-7 pages of notesIndex card with questions for interviewIndex card with ASOI 'Big Five' for interview
27 ASOI - words Angry Sad Anxious/Nervous Success Important to me Strong StandTornMoved/TouchedLost SomethingChange
28 Mini-guide to the ASOI (1) ‘Big Five’:(Adapted from Berger, 2012) AuthorityConflictResponsibilityPerspective takingAssumptions about the world
29 Mini-guide to the ASOI (2) ASOI 'Four Steps‘Step 1: identify a Big Five themeStep 2: ask questions to formulate a hypothesisStep 3: move to the upper edgeStep 4: ask the same question in a different way(Adapted from Berger, 2012)
30 Mini-guide to the ASOI (3) ASOI Analysis 'Three Steps‘Step 1: What structural evidence leads to these hypotheses?Step 2: What would narrow the range of plausible hypotheses?Step 3: On what grounds are plausible counter-hypotheses rejected?
31 Interview 2 Part 1 – about the experience itself 1. What was your experience of the interview?2. What thoughts or insights did you have after the interview?3. What did you perceive to be the real value for you of the interview to be?4. Thinking of coaching specifically, what are your thoughts on the value or use of this interview in a coaching context?5. How might the interview help kick start a coaching relationship?6. What might the value be of doing the interview at the end of a coaching relationship?7. How might you carry forwards what you have discovered during the interview?8. How did the interview differ from coaching conversations?9. Would you recommend the interview to other people?
32 Interview 2 Part 2 – findings 10. What would you like to know about the ‘results’ of the interview?11. What concerns do you have about this interview – ethics for example? Did or does anything about the interview worry you?12. How did you experience the probing questions? Uncomfortable? Can you see a scenario in which this might be wholly inappropriate or even dangerous?13. What was my role in the interview? How would you describe what I did in the interview?14. How much did I tell you about the interview beforehand – was this sufficiently detailed? Could more detail have put you off? How well was the introduction positioned?15. If I had positioned it differently, how would this have influenced the experience?
33 Interview 2 Part 3 – coaches only 16. How would you describe your own coaching practice?17. What is the value from your professional point of view of this interview?18. Would you expect a practitioner to be fully trained in conducting the SOI?19. Let’s assume the SOI could be part of a coach’s offer. How would you position the SOI to (potential) coachees?20. What would you use the SOI for yourself in your own practice, assuming for the sake of this interview that you would?21. What could a SOI feedback report for a coachee look like?22. Considering the SOI is very labour-intensive, that would translate into cost. What are your thoughts on that?
34 Learning on the jobHeuristic approach means you can learn along the way and adjust how your research accordinglyYou also don't have to 'hide' anything from co- researchersThe only thing I kept until interview 2 was an explanation about it being an assessment of sorts, as I feared it might push them to 'perform' – more about this later, as it turned out to be a major theme
36 Findings No participants were harmed during the research... ... in fact, consistent with the literature they said they enjoyed the experience'cathartic''questions coming from the left field''I enjoyed the surprises I got along the way'
37 ASOI vs coaching conversation Andy: ASOI is developmental coaching situationDiane: 'similarity in level of curiosity I got from you'Alex: ‘made me think about the coaching I am about to start’Sally: ‘I now think the coaching may be more useful than I thought up to now’
38 ASOI vs coaching conversation ASOI is not limited to work – crosses into personal lifeBroader: also focuses on emotions; not solutions focused (Bill)Level of challenge – Lewis found coaching more challenging
39 Concerns from co-participants This is a psychometric assessment – you need to make that clear beforehandThis will influence participants' perception of itCould 'get to the nub of things so quickly it almost becomes raw'Its non-directive appearance is can be misleading – the interviewer has an agendaUltimately the assessment passes judgment
40 Concerns from co-participants Diane, interview 2:'It is only now that I realise that it is a directive technique. I think I now understand the importance of feedback, based on the interview, because this is quite a reflective process. Without the feedback I think it would be quite unethical, because this is a diagnostic'
41 Themes for coaching Timing the ASOI in the intervention itself ContractingTreat it as a psychometric: without the feedback it remains a nice, possibly cathartic conversationWhich coachee benefits?Coach duty of careCoach-coachee relationship both helps and hindersSOI does not feature in the mainstream coaching toolbox
44 'Live' ASOI Listening out for the Big Five Score sheet with three stepsRange of hypothesesScoring live in the interview
45 'Live' ASOI ‘Big Five’ Range of hypotheses Notes Socialised SocialisedSelf-AuthoringSelf-TransformingWhat is the structural evidence?What other stage could it be?What is the most likely stage?AuthorityConflictPerspective-takingResponsibilityAssumptions
48 Selected referencesBerger, J. G. and Atkins, P. (2009) ‘Mapping complexity of mind: using the subject-Object interview in coaching’. In: Coaching: an International Journal of Theory, Research and Practice, Vol. 2 No. 1 ppBerger, J.G. (2010) 'Using the Subject-Object Interview to Promote and Assess Self-Authorship' In: Baxter Magolda, M.B., Creamer, E.G. and Meszaros, P.S. (eds.) Refining Understanding of the Development and Assessment of Self-Authorship. Exploring the concept across cultures. Sterling, VA: Stylus.Berger, J. G. (2012) Changing on the Job. Developing Leaders for a Complex World. Stanford: Stanford University Press.Kegan, R. (1980) 'Making Meaning: The Constructive-Developmental Approach to Persons and Practice'. The Personnel and Guidance Journal, Vol. 58, No. 5, ppKegan, R. (1982) The evolving self: problem and process in human development. Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University PressKegan, R. (1994) In over our heads. The mental demands of modern life. Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press.Kegan, R. (2013a) ‘The Further Reaches of Adult Development: Thoughts on the ‘Self-Transforming’ Mind’. Lecture at the Royal Society for the encouragement of Arts, Manufactures and Commerce, London, 23rd May Audio podcast: transforming-mind [accessed 13th September 2013]Lahey, L; Souvaine, E; Kegan, R; Goodman, R and Felix, S, (2011) A guide to the subject-object interview. Its administration and interpretation. Cambridge Massachusetts: Minds at Work Press