Socratic thinking…

424 b.c. there was this battle between Athens and another little town called Boetia. The battle of Delium was a battle between 50,000 men that lasted only a few hours and resulted in one of Athens biggest battlefield disasters. They were crushed and mostly turned and ran from the battlefield. As they ran, they were easy targets for their enemy. Most died from a spear to their back.

Hippocrates died fighting here. The entire generation of Thespians suffered a holocaust here. And, Socrates fought here. Yes, that’s not a typo. Socrates was a warrior/philosopher. He survived the battle that killed so many of his Athenian brothers because of how he exited the battlefield. He exited with a sword in his hand and armor on his back. He exited slowly. He walked out backwards while protecting one of his countrymen. Here’s what Plato recorded in his work titled “Symposium” from an eyewitness, Alcibiades.

“…He (Socrates) made his way there just as he does here in Athens, ‘swaggering and glancing sideways.’ So he looked around calmly at both his friends and the enemy; he was clearly giving the message to anyone even at a distance that if anyone touched this man, he quickly would put up a stout defense. The result was that he and his partner got away safely. For it is true that attackers do not approach men of this caliber but instead go after those fleeing head-long.” Reflective action is what BTL is all about. We want our clients to slow down and relect so they can speed up – productively. We want them to reflect, contemplate, and then choose the most productive action to move them and their teams toward their dream, through their crisis, and in alignment with their guiding principles. Reflective action producers the kinda team that “gets away safely.” Reflective action produces the kinda team that say’s “don’t mess with us.”

Are you building a team with shoot in their eyes?

Are you walking off the current battlefield or are you fleeing head-long?

Does your body language tell all around that you believe?

Are you defining these MOT’s (moments of truth) or attempting to avoid ’em by fleeing head-long?

What are you telling the team when you win and when you are suffering a loss?

Are you taking care of the BTL buddy beside you, or leaving teammates behind that can’t quite keep up?

Slow down and sit with these questions for awhile. Talk to a truth teller. Ask them to open your eyes, illuminate a blind spot, and hit you with some hard truth. Make it safe. Let their feedback in. Process what they’re telling you. Slowly decide how to put some of it into action. Make this a habit of your heart, friend. Kinda like Socrates, you’re learning the power of slowing down and using good questions to produce better thinking. Socratic thinking. Good…

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