A few weeks ago, I shared techniques I’ve found helpful for getting a better understanding of the outcome my team is trying to deliver.
One of the techniques I suggested is socratic questioning, which is a way to identify good questions to help you uncover the outcome you seek.
Shortly after I published that post, I recorded an episode of the Mastering Business Analysis podcast with Dave Saboe where we talked about socratic questioning. Dave published that podcast this week.
So this week I’m sharing that podcast, another podcast I recorded at Agile2017 and some other resources about the technique that provide some questions you can ask and things to consider when you talk to customers and stakeholders.
Mastering Business Analysis podcast
Dave Saboe asked me to appear on his Mastering Business Analysis podcast to talk about socratic questioning. We had a good conversation about how business analysts (and all product people really) can use socratic questioning to improve your interviewing prowess.
How to Find the Real Need with Socratic Questioning
At Agile2017, Heather Mylan Mains and I presented a session on socratic questioning. We focused on how to use the technique to uncover your real need, but we also discussed different ways that you can use socratic questioning – including as a great tool for coaching a team. Included on this resource are our slides, the handout we used, and the results of an exercise we ran during the session to generate questions you could ask for a variety of scenarios.
InfoQ Engineering Culture podcast
While we were at Agile2017, Heather Mylan Mains and I spoke with Shane Hastie about socratic questioning. He recorded that conversation for his InfoQ Engineering Culture podcast. Take a listen for a little bit more info on socratic question and to hear Shane put Heather and I on the spot.
Socratic Questioning Technique Brief
Socratic questioning is named after the Greek philosopher and teacher, Socrates (ca. 470 – 399 B.C.) who taught his students through the use of questions to involve them in a thoughtful dialog. Socrates’ questions allowed his students to examine ideas logically in order to determine the validity of those ideas. This is a great way to explore ideas in depth which also drives the “student” to deeply consider, evaluate, and analyze their ideas.
How To Socratically Question New Project Leads
This article from Brennan Dunn was the inspiration for me to explore how product people can use socratic questioning to understand the real need. It’s an example of how you can use the socratic method to talk with potential clients or stakeholders to get a deeper understanding about something you’re about to work on.
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Kent J. McDonald
Founder | KBP.Media