Relational Research as Mutual Exploration in a Safe Space

Traditionally, research is about exploring an area of interest that is not fully known. In this video, Gita expressed an interest in ‘inherited memory’, which manifests as a felt sense, a recurrent dream, an unexplained fear. Memory may emanate from generational, not directly experienced, trauma. And further, she shed light on research information kept secret, covered over, or altered so that it is unknowable to participants. As a Relational Researcher, Gita chooses not to have a pre-determined model of inquiry. Her inquiries are always conducted with small groups and not individuals. The group itself becomes a co-researcher, co-creating meaning and helping each other to discover new possibilities. The researcher’s role is to create a safe space wherein the power belongs to the group rather than herself and enables equitable and inclusive participation. This helps open up conversations even about ‘unknowns’. Inevitably what happens is always generative, creative and unique. She believes a relational approach to research is the only ethical form of discourse, ensures no harm, and facilitates transformational possibilities for everyone.

Gita Baack, Ph.D.

Gita is the founder of OTI Leadership Consulting, and the founder of the Centre for Transformational Dialogue in Kanata, Ontario, Canada. For more information, visit Gita’s Associate page.

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