Socrates the Entrepreneur January 3, 2015 – Posted in: strategy – Tags: Entrepreneur
Socrates the Entrepreneur
Socrates is greatly known for his Socratic method of questioning. His technique is geared to pursue higher levels of thought through asking as many questions as possible in order to contrive the greatest number of quality answers. For Socrates, there often wasn’t an ultimate “right” answer to a question but simply a “better one” if you will.
Socratic questioning is especially helpful in assessing the quality of thinking of others. In other words, with his methods, you can discover who is full of sh*t and who isn’t.
His method of questioning is also especially valuable in helping you distinguish the difference between what you think you know from the things you truly know. He helps us move from fragmented faulty thinking to pragmatic systematic thinking. In so doing, he challenges us to question all assumptions to cultivate the power of questions. All of this in an effort to become true independent thinkers.
All I can say is that better questions lead to better answers. Answers are usually accepted at face value but the trap is that if you will never be able to think outside the box if you accept all answers at face value. Every situation is different and being an entrepreneur requires constant creative thinking and searching for better ways of doing things. If the process of questioning isn’t utilized, mental stagnation and lack of creative thinking will soon drown you out as competitors with a more open mind will inevitably swallow you whole.
- Clarify your thinking. Why do you think that? Is there a better way to answer your current question or situation? Can you simplify your question without diminishing its aim?
- Challenge your assumptions. Is your current question and answer really the best one for your situation? Why do you believe that it is?
- Evidence should be your basis. What kind of evidence do you have that suggests that your current questions and resulting answers are really the best solutions? Where are you getting your answers from? Are they really all that applicable to you? Is there reason to doubt that they may not be?
- Alternative viewpoints and perspectives. Suppose another intelligent person had another viewpoint on the question and answer. How strongly would their point of view hold up to your own? How might their ideas contribute to what you are currently thinking?
- Implications and Consequences. Consider alternative ways of thinking and consider what consequences would come out of different ways of doing things. Is there another way to think that might give better results?
- Question your question. What are you really looking to answer and solve? Can you widen your question a bit in order to open the door for a greater number of quality answers and solutions?