In our group coaching program Xperiential MBA, the curriculum our leaders have been working through is around using mental models for enhanced decision making.
Making decisions is a hallmark of the best leaders – regardless if we are leading others in business or our own personal growth.
Many times we need to open our minds before we can make decisions – especially bigger ones. We can get into our own head and mix up our personal assumptions & interpretations versus the actual truth.
Thankfully, there’s a model for that! In our Xperiential MBA group, Chris Suarez took the group through this Socratic Questions model to help us open our minds for making decisions.
Clarify your thinking
Questions to ask: Why do I think this? What exactly do I think?
Goal: Get to an objective place of understanding what your thoughts are.
Questions to ask: How do I know this is true? What if I thought the opposite?
Goal: Realize that your thoughts are not the Truth. They are simply a perspective. And, if you can have one perspective, you can have other perspectives as well.
Look for evidence
Questions to ask: How can I back this up? What are the sources?
Goal: Our logical mind likes verification. Prove to yourself with evidence that an empowering perspective is possible.
Consider alternative perspectives
Questions to ask: What might others think? How do I know I am right?
Goal: Look outside yourself and learn from other people. Who has gone before you that has achieved what you want? Figure out what you can take from how they succeeded.
Examine consequences and implications
Questions to ask: What if I am wrong? What would happen if I am wrong?
Goal: Understand the impact if you were incorrect on you & your community. Objectively notice that the world doesn’t end even if you are wrong.
Question the original questions
Questions to ask: Why did I think that? Was I correct?
Goal: Reexamine your original thoughts and see if it held up to this model. If you were stuck, you will likely find that your thinking that caused you to be stuck didn’t hold up.
By walking through these questions, you’ll be able separate your assumptions that led to you feeling stuck with core facts & truth. Then, you’ll really feel empowered to make decisions – even the biggest ones.
In the Xperiential MBA program we’ve been working through one of Chris’ favorite books – The Great Mental Models by Shane Parrish throughout the month. The Socratic Questions modeled here were taken from that book. Get the book if you wish to dive even deeper into mental models.