How to investigate the local and global change potential of questioning sequences in executive coaching? A call for interdisciplinary research
Coaching outcome research convincingly argues that coaching is effective and facilitates change in clients. While coaching practice literature depicts questions as key vehicle for such change, empirical findings as regards the local and global change potential of questions are so far largely missing in both (psychological) outcome research and (linguistic and psychological) process research on coaching. The local change potential of questions refers to a turn-by-turn transformation as a result of their sequentiality, the global change potential is related to the power of questions to initiate, process and finalize established phases of change. This programmatic article on questions, or rather questioning sequences, in executive coaching pursues two goals: firstly, it takes stock of available insights into questions in coaching and advocates for Conversation Analysis as a fruitful methodological framework to assess the local change potential of questioning sequences. Secondly, it points to the limitations of a local turn-by-turn approach to unravel the overall change potential of questions and calls for an interdisciplinary approach to bring both local and global effectiveness into relation. Such an approach is premised on conversational sequentiality and psychological theories of change and facilitates research on questioning sequences as both local and global agents of change across the continuum of coaching sessions. We present the TSPP Model as a first result of such an interdisciplinary cooperation.