Socratic Questioning as part of your day to day Sales & Marketing Leadership
In this second installment we will continue to explore Socratic Questioning methods you should utilize to better understand a projects or a person’s Goals and
Questioning Goals and Purposes: All thought reflects an a person or project’s agenda or purpose. Assume that you do not fully understand someone’s thought (including your own) until you understand the agenda behind it.
Questions that focus on ‘purpose in thinking’ help remove internal biases from a Leaders decision, provides clarity and creates should follow a logical line of reasoning. Socrates a former solider was renowned in early Greece as a philosopher teacher whose most famous pupil Plato believed, taught and demonstrated in his soliloquies that a disciplined practice of thoughtful questioning enabled his student’s to examine their own ideas as well as other’s logically and to help them determine the validity of those ideas:
- What are you trying to accomplish here?
- What is your central aim or task in this line of thought?
- What is the purpose of this assignment/creative brief/SWOT analysis/relationship/policy/law?
As a Leader you need to make sure the proposal’s you are evaluating and the supporters or Champion of those proposal’s understand what they are proposing and have thought out What they are trying to accomplish with this project? If they don’t know how can you be expected to support with your organizations resources – time, money, manpower, manufacturing…..
ex. Let’s offer a sample of our product to everyone attending an upcoming event…. Sounds good, now it’s time to have the dialogue
Remember these questions aren’t only for your employees and leaders in your organization they’re for you as well. What are you trying to accomplish? What is your central aim with this new CRM system? You need to communicate this to your team, your vendors
As we continue our discussion about using Socratic questioning we’ll look at how all thought reflects an agenda or purpose. I’ll recommend you continually refer to the desired decision/outcome you hope to achieve and how they will align with the desired WIIFM or What’s In It For Me for the consumer whether they are B2B or B2C. Whether your developing your creative brief, reviewing your SWOT analysis, completing a one page marketing plan, performing SEO optimization or key words alignment we need to assume you do not fully understand someone’s thought (including your own) until you understand the drivers behind it.
Taking time to drill down and utilize Socratic questioning always provide value, I’ll say it again the scariest thing a Leader can ever hear from his team is, ‘ because we have always done this!’
Time to tell them about the Spinach in their teeth right now.
What is a ‘Spinach helpful tip’? Have you ever walked around with something in your teeth, and no one tells you. A real friend takes you to the side and tells you. It may be embarrassing at first but not as bad as finding out at the end of the day when it is too late to do anything about it. Especially if you are trying to create a positive brand image and lead your organization to success!
Chris A. Marshall
For more information please feel free to review these additional Spinach Helpful Tips