Not only will it save your business costly resources, but critical thinking will also enhance other workplace skills, such as communication, creativity, analytical competency, emotional intelligence and general problem-solving. A hour news cycle and barrage of unchecked facts overloads our brains in and out of the workplace.
Lawrence said this contributes to a frantic workplace tempo that reinforces hasty thinking and business decisions. This is when costly mistakes and blunders are made. Welton added that critical thinking makes individuals not only better thinkers, but better communicators.
It might seem counterintuitive to associate analytical rationality with emotional, meaningful contribution, but when you can feel confident and thorough in your decision-making process, the end result will feel more fulfilling and yield emotional intelligence. Just like critical thinking processes themselves, teaching and implementing critical thinking training and methodology takes time and patience.
Lawrence emphasized that critical thinking skills are best acquired in a time of calm. It might feel urgent to seek out critical thinking during a crisis, but it is a hard skill to learn in a panic. Critical thinking training is best done preemptively — that way, when a crisis does hit, employees will be prepared and critical thinking will come naturally. From an executive or managerial perspective, giving employees extra time on projects or solving problems might feel like a stressor if there are deadlines or pressures from higher up.
But if you want those working for you to engage in critical thinking processes, it's imperative to give them the time to do so. Again, some of the stress can be avoided if critical thinking is taught preemptively, not as a last resort. Giving employees this extra time will actually save the company time and money in the long run.
Teaching employees critical thinking in the workplace allows them to employ the skill as a crisis happens, not after the fact. Lawrence provided an example involving restaurants and waitstaff: If a customer has a bad experience at a restaurant, a server using critical thinking skills will be more likely to figure out a solution to save the interaction, such as offering a free appetizer or discount.
This concept is applicable across many business and organizational structures. While the restaurant example conveys critical thinking skills, you should also be aware of the signs of a lack of those skills. Companies that change strategy rapidly, moving from one thing to the next, are likely not engaging in critical thinking, said Lawrence.
This is also the case in companies that seem to have good ideas but have trouble executing them. As with many issues in business, what's happening at the top is a good signifier of how present critical thinking is in the rest of the organization. If a company has a smart leader with great ideas but no processes being followed, there will be no buy-in, and the company will suffer. This is why critical thinking skills often accompany positive communication skills.
Modeling critical thinking at the top will help the skill trickle down to the rest of the organization, no matter what kind or size of company you have. When mistakes are avoided and business is seamless at all levels, not just at the executive level, that means critical thinking is actively implemented in an organization. Between trainings, time and patience, critical thinking can become a second-nature skill for employees at all levels of experience and seniority.
The money, time and conflict you will save in the long run is well worth the extra time and patience of implementing critical thinking in your workplace. Rebecka Green. Teaching critical thinking in the workplace David Welton, managing partner at Grove Critical Thinking , says critical thinking is "a teachable skill. Saving time and money with critical thinking A hour news cycle and barrage of unchecked facts overloads our brains in and out of the workplace. Identifying successful critical thinking Teaching employees critical thinking in the workplace allows them to employ the skill as a crisis happens, not after the fact.
Business News Daily Contributing Writer. In December , Rebecka received her bachelor's in English composition and religion from Luther College. Everyone in a business environment should scan their business ecosystem through the information gathering from reliable and relevant sources of information. This includes general news, business news, industry news, and digital sources such as groups, and experts. Critical thinking and problem solving starts with aggressive preparation which means thinking about thinking and making sure possibilities are covered and all sources of information have been used appropriately to prepare for a day, week, month, year, and all activities.
Aggressive preparation is the foundation for executing plans through proactive planning and to-do lists that are realistic. By proactively planning and being in control of information and situations, the focus can be on the tasks at hand which should be the things necessary to execute the business strategy.
First of all, put the smartphone AWAY! Put it in your pocket. Unless you are in a critical position like sales or customer service where the execution of your strategy relies on your immediate reaction, put it AWAY. Be present and focus. Nobody can think critically if half their attention is on a leaderboard on buzzfeed. After you put your phone away, then listen and learn.
Each experience, each new piece of knowledge builds the ability to think more critically and solve problems of the business. People think critically and solve problems are able to clearly share their insights without talking too much, over-selling, or blathering on about non-sense. By clearly sharing insights, you are then able to listen to reactions and fine-tune your approaches. Nobody likes a smartass-know-it-all. The best critical thinkers are respectful and build resources though humility and gratitude.
They build a portfolio of knowledge and accumulate approaches and methods of problem solving that rely on other people. The best critical thinkers understand a little sugar goes a lot further than a lot of vinegar. One of the most important aspects of good, strong critical thinking and problem solving is doing it right and not cutting any corners. Cutting corners will inevitably give you the wrong solution and a poor business result. And finally, the most important rule; take immense pride and ownership in your work.
Critical thinkers will identify, analyse and solve problems systematically rather than by intuition or instinct. Leaders often jump to the first conclusion, whatever the evidence. Even worse, senior leaders will just choose the evidence that supports their prior beliefs. The good news is that critical thinking is a skill that we can all learn and continually improve. To do that she suggests there are three simple habits that you can do to improve your critical thinking skills.
They are:. Cultivating these three key habits of mind go a long way in helping you become better at critical thinking, an increasingly desired skill in the job market. Imagine going through your day asking yourself: Is the sky really blue? So, the first step in questioning your assumptions is figuring out exactly when to question your assumptions. I believe that the higher the stakes of any situation, the more important it is to challenge the assumptions that you are making.
Now, I might be wrong here, but it seems to me that you would need to be sure to ask basic questions about your beliefs: for example, how do you know that business will increase? What does the research say about your expectations about the future of the market? Another way to question your assumptions is to consider alternatives. You might ask: What if our clients changed? What if our suppliers went out of business?
These sorts of questions help you gain new and important perspectives that help hone your thinking. It calls for you to ask yourself questions like: Is the argument supported at every point by evidence? Do all the pieces of evidence build on each other to produce a sound conclusion?
She also suggests that being aware of common fallacies can also allow you to think more logically. While this might be a natural phenomenon, it can narrow our perspectives further, serving up only news that supports our individual beliefs. This is potentially a major problem because if everyone in our social circles thinks as we do, we will only become more rigid in our thinking, and less likely to change our beliefs on the basis of new information.
In fact, the more people listen to people who share their views, the more polarised their thinking becomes. Helen suggests that you can start small. If you work in accounting, make friends with people in marketing. If you always go to lunch with the senior staff, go for a drink with your junior colleagues. Training yourself this way will help you escape your usual thinking and gain richer insights. In team settings, give people the chance to give their opinions independently without the influence of the group.
This action is designed to help prevent people from engaging in groupthink. Here, the desire for group cohesion effectively drives out good decision-making and problem-solving. Nobody can think critically if half their attention is on a leaderboard on buzzfeed. After you put your phone away, then listen and learn. Each experience, each new piece of knowledge builds the ability to think more critically and solve problems of the business. People think critically and solve problems are able to clearly share their insights without talking too much, over-selling, or blathering on about non-sense.
By clearly sharing insights, you are then able to listen to reactions and fine-tune your approaches. Nobody likes a smartass-know-it-all. The best critical thinkers are respectful and build resources though humility and gratitude.
They build a portfolio of knowledge and accumulate approaches and methods of problem solving that rely on other people. The best critical thinkers understand a little sugar goes a lot further than a lot of vinegar. One of the most important aspects of good, strong critical thinking and problem solving is doing it right and not cutting any corners. Cutting corners will inevitably give you the wrong solution and a poor business result.
And finally, the most important rule; take immense pride and ownership in your work. By seeking to be the best at what you do and seeking to be the best for your company, you will easily find the right paths along the journey. Robert Brodo is co-founder of Advantexe. He has more than 20 years of training and business simulation experience. Copyright by Advantexe Learning Solutions , The Advantexe Advisor Blog - providing a deep and applicable understanding of the system of business.
What is Critical Business Thinking in the first place? About Advantexe Advantexe is a gold medal winning training and performance improvement organization specializing in the development and delivery of interactive learning journeys using computer-based business simulations as the catalyst for learning and change in the areas of: Business Acumen, Business Leadership, and Strategic Business Selling learning solutions. Click here to learn more. Search this site on Google Search Google.
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