THINKING OUT LOUD

Socratic Questioning

The Socratic (see Greek philosopher, Socrates) approach to questioning has been omnipresent in my investment advisory career which I’ve also used in other aspects of my business life.

It’s based on the practice of disciplined, thoughtful dialogue designed to promote independent thinking and allowing you to explore ideas in depth.

Clarify

 

  • Why are you saying that?
  • What exactly does this mean?
  • How does this relate to what we have been talking about?
  • What is the nature of…..?
  • What do we already know about this?
  • Can you give me an example?
  • Are you saying……or…..?
  • Can you rephrase that?

 

Assumptions

 

  • What else could we assume?
  • You seem tone assuming….?
  • How did you choose those assumptions?
  • Pease explain why/how?
  • How can you verify or disprove that assumption?
  • What would happen if….?
  • Do you agree or disagree with……?

 

Evidence

 

  • Why is this happening?
  • How do you know this?
  • Show me…..?
  • Can you give me an example of that?
  • What do you think causes….?
  • What is the nature of this?
  • Are these reasons good enough?
  • Would it stand up in court?
  • How might it be refuted?
  • How can I be sure of what you are saying?
  • Why is……happening?
  • What evidence is there to support what you are saying?
  • On what authority are you basing your argument?

 

Perspective

 

  • Another way of looking at this…….,does this seem reasonable
  • What alternative ways of looking at this are there?
  • Why is it…….necessary?
  • Who benefits from this?
  • What is the difference between this……and…..?
  • Why is it better than……?
  • What are the strengths and weaknesses of…….?
  • How are…….and…..similar?
  • What would…….say about it?
  • What if you compared……and……?
  • How could you look at this in another way?

 

Implication

 

  • Then what would happen?
  • What are the consequences of that assumption?
  • How could…….be used to….?
  • What are the implications of…..?
  • How does……affect…..?
  • How does…..fit with what we learned before?
  • Why is……important?
  • What is the best….? Why?

 

Question

 

  • What was the point of asking that question?
  • Why do you think I asked this question?
  • Am I making sense? Why not?
  • What else might I ask?
  • What does that mean?