Greece – the land famous for its beauty, culture, and history, has given to us the wisdom of the greatest philosophers in the world. 2,500 years later, we still have what to learn from Greek philosophers – they have given us so many thoughts on life, existence, culture, friendship, health, and even leadership.
When it comes to leadership, one name significantly stands out from the rest of the philosophers – Socrates. His most famous quote “I know that I know nothing” translates extremely well in the world of entrepreneurship where the only certain thing is uncertainty.
But what translates even better in the startup world is the popular Socratic questioning – a method that is extremely effective when it comes to problem-solving, decision-making, critical thinking, exploring complex ideas and their potential.
How Does It Work?
The Socrates questioning empowers thinking and learning through asking thought-provoking questions. By asking the right questions, you are helping yourself or the person you are speaking with to understand better the situation or the problem. Here are three ways that can help you nurture Socratic questioning into your leadership style and become better at managing your company.
Ask questions that will bring more clarity over the problem/situation. What led to it? What caused this situation? By understanding better the reasons, you will have more clarity of the causes, resp. will have a bigger chance of eliminating the cause or preventing it in the future.
Ask thought-provoking questions, the answers to which will leads to alternatives, different points of view, out-of-the-box thinking. What can we do differently? Are there different opinions? Can anyone else from the team see the situation differently? By doing so, you will inspire creative thinking and will motivate the people on your team to speak up their mind without worrying that they might be wrong.
Ask questions that predict the outcomes of your decisions. How will my decision affect the future of the company? If we do that, what are the possible outcomes? What can we do if things go wrong? By analyzing the possible outcomes, you will feel more prepared. By thinking of the end result, you will be able to map better your steps and create more effective strategy.