The Socratic Method – The Secret Ingredient to Exceptional Coaching

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The Socratic Method is often taught to life coaches because their primary purpose is not to teach clients but to support them in discovering their inner wisdom.

In hindsight, often made use of the Socratic method in some way before I even started my career as a life coach, even though I was not fully aware of it. In fact, with the Socratic method, I’ve been able to develop my skills and knowledge as a life coach because when people ask me questions or I ask them questions it allows the person to think about their concerns and give thoughtful answers. People benefit from the process because it allows them to dig deep, shape and share their ideas in the best possible way.

The Socratic method is used in coaching to examine our deepest thoughts, with or without clear goals. Pre-determined goals are useful when time is tight, but can leave clients feeling that their life coach has their own agenda or that there is nothing to learn from the discussion (Neenan, 2008).

The techniques and strategies employed in the life coaching approach to transpersonal psychology are the constructive use of mindfulness-based interventions. Therefore, the life coach begins by identifying the client’s aspirations and goals and then works with the client to develop a broader sense of self, shifting focus to facilitate and embrace the transformation process. More subtly, this process involves identifying the mental, spiritual, social, and emotional tools that help us reach our full potential.

The transpersonal life coaching approach goes hand in hand with executive coaching in that it primarily focuses on developing the client’s leadership skills. The essence of this approach to life coaching is that it not only facilitates the expansion of an individual’s self-image and worldview but further utilizes the transpersonal state to promote self-empowerment and emotional, spiritual and psychological awakening.

At the heart of the transpersonal approach to life coaching is the development of an irreversible sense of awareness and self-knowledge that develops exceptional leadership, personal and interpersonal skills.

The Socratic method can be used for problem-solving

The Socratic method is used in many ways for different purposes. Broadly speaking, the Socratic method refers to almost any teaching method that involves question and answer, as opposed to lecture-based teaching (Scott, 2004).

There has long been a scholarly debate about whether Socrates had only one method, or whether he had multiple methods, and—if he had only one—which elements were most unique.

Scholars and historians who have carefully studied Plato’s dialogues have found many differences in how Socrates engaged in dialogue, and have found it difficult to see Socrates as a unified approach, even on a very broad level.

The influential work of Gregory Vlastos presents the idea that Socrates had a method that Vlastos called “the Socratic Elenchus”, but the idea is Questioned by many claims. Today, the Socratic method is widely used in medical and legal education to help students grasp more difficult concepts and/or principles.

In the Socratic method, the professor can question the students in a variety of ways. More often than not, however, inquiries are usually on opposite ends of the spectrum.

According to a prominent point, the Socratic method is a method of eliminating assumptions. The interlocutor presents an assertion or hypothesis to the questioner. Questioners cross-test hypotheses through sustained and targeted questioning to uncover contradictions or weaknesses. If a weakness is discovered, that assumption can be eliminated. After discarding the false hypothesis, new or reformulated hypotheses can be proposed and the process repeated.

In this sense, the Socratic method is less a model for problem-solving than a model of critical thinking that diagnostically examines intuitions, assumptions, or beliefs and tests their validity.

A considerate, non-judgmental, non-confrontational attitude is often seen as an important part of the process. Other key features of the proposed approach are the emphasis on intellectual humility, uncertainty, cooperation, curiosity, and collaborative learning. Socratic questioning is most commonly used between two or more people, but it can also be used alone.

The Socratic Method is often taught to life coaches because their primary purpose is not to teach clients but to support them in discovering their inner wisdom.

In hindsight, often made use of the Socratic method in some way before I even started my career as a life coach, even though I was not fully aware of it. In fact, with the Socratic method, I’ve been able to develop my skills and knowledge as a life coach because when people ask me questions or I ask them questions it allows the person to think about their concerns and give thoughtful answers. People benefit from the process because it allows them to dig deep, shape and share their ideas in the best possible way.

The Socratic method is used in coaching to examine our deepest thoughts, with or without clear goals. Pre-determined goals are useful when time is tight, but can leave clients feeling that their life coach has their own agenda or that there is nothing to learn from the discussion (Neenan, 2008).

The techniques and strategies employed in the life coaching approach to transpersonal psychology are the constructive use of mindfulness-based interventions. Therefore, the life coach begins by identifying the client’s aspirations and goals and then works with the client to develop a broader sense of self, shifting focus to facilitate and embrace the transformation process. More subtly, this process involves identifying the mental, spiritual, social, and emotional tools that help us reach our full potential.

The transpersonal life coaching approach goes hand in hand with executive coaching in that it primarily focuses on developing the client’s leadership skills. The essence of this approach to life coaching is that it not only facilitates the expansion of an individual’s self-image and worldview but further utilizes the transpersonal state to promote self-empowerment and emotional, spiritual and psychological awakening.

At the heart of the transpersonal approach to life coaching is the development of an irreversible sense of awareness and self-knowledge that develops exceptional leadership, personal and interpersonal skills.

The Socratic method can be used for problem-solving

The Socratic method is used in many ways for different purposes. Broadly speaking, the Socratic method refers to almost any teaching method that involves question and answer, as opposed to lecture-based teaching (Scott, 2004).

There has long been a scholarly debate about whether Socrates had only one method, or whether he had multiple methods, and—if he had only one—which elements were most unique.

Scholars and historians who have carefully studied Plato’s dialogues have found many differences in how Socrates engaged in dialogue, and have found it difficult to see Socrates as a unified approach, even on a very broad level.

The influential work of Gregory Vlastos presents the idea that Socrates had a method that Vlastos called “the Socratic Elenchus”, but the idea is Questioned by many claims. Today, the Socratic method is widely used in medical and legal education to help students grasp more difficult concepts and/or principles.

In the Socratic method, the professor can question the students in a variety of ways. More often than not, however, inquiries are usually on opposite ends of the spectrum.

According to a prominent point, the Socratic method is a method of eliminating assumptions. The interlocutor presents an assertion or hypothesis to the questioner. Questioners cross-test hypotheses through sustained and targeted questioning to uncover contradictions or weaknesses. If a weakness is discovered, that assumption can be eliminated. After discarding the false hypothesis, new or reformulated hypotheses can be proposed and the process repeated.

In this sense, the Socratic method is less a model for problem-solving than a model of critical thinking that diagnostically examines intuitions, assumptions, or beliefs and tests their validity.

A considerate, non-judgmental, non-confrontational attitude is often seen as an important part of the process. Other key features of the proposed approach are the emphasis on intellectual humility, uncertainty, cooperation, curiosity, and collaborative learning. Socratic questioning is most commonly used between two or more people, but it can also be used alone.

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