Socratic Method – A Great Way To Motivate Employees

The Socratic Method is when you use questions instead of statements to facilitate learning. It is a great way to manage. Taking orders is a great skill set for the military but in most business management situations the Socratic method is a great way to train and get tasks accomplished. Here is an example of an actual situation:

A team member at a veterinary clinic makes a mistake by filling a patients file incorrectly making it difficult to find the file next time.

Traditional solution:
Reprimand the employee and give them a lecture on how they need to make sure they file correctly.

Result: Errors keep happing

Socratic Method:
Ask why the error happened and what are possible solutions.

Result: Errors eliminated with a new filing system that is friendlier to the filers. Because it was the emplopyees idea they made sure the system works as it’s supposed to. When it’s “your” idea you become invested; when it’s someone else’s idea then you may not care.

Here is another situation and I would like to know how you would solve it.

An Accounting firm has several employees and one of their star employees has a consistent complaint from other employees of being immature. How would you approach him to change his behavior with his coworkers?

Please post thoughts in the comments section.