The process of critical thinking requires you to ask more questions of both others and of yourself before a decision or determination is made. In order to successfully evaluate data in a critical manner, you must have a system in place to assess information as it is presented. In any situation whether you are having a conversation, observing others, or material you have read, you must be ready to probe deeper and ask the right question at the right time.
Browne, Keely, McCall and Kaplan, refers to critical thinking as a "Systematic evaluation of arguments based on explicit rational criteria (1998, p.IX)." The authors go on to state that "critical thinking refers to the following: awareness of a set of interrelated critical questions, ability to ask and answer critical questions at appropriate times and the desire to actively use the critical questions (1998, p. 4)."
The process of making a decision for many is a disconcerting responsibility. While for others, making a decision is second nature. According to Browne et al., "Decisions are streams of choices. These streams contain bits of information, events, and choices (1998, p. 50)." The authors go on to state:
"In the day to day business of organizational life, decision making is seldom the logical, rational, systematic process suggested by the management textbooks. It does not unfold in identifiable stages where a problem is defined, alternative solutions are generated, the alternatives are weighed against a known criterion, and a choice is made (1998, p. 50)."
In the real business world, apart from textbooks and classrooms, management is charged with the task of making hundreds of decisions daily and must be ready to accept the consequences when the wrong...
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...ially our management team, many of the issues brought to my office may be avoided. The problem begins with a lack of communication and our management team does not seem to ask the right questions to get to the bottom of the lack of communication within their areas.
Critical thinking is a precursor to making an informed, educated, and unbiased decision. The two skills are critical to success in today's business environment. Any person who wishes to enhance their skills would benefit from paying close attention to what you have heard and read and then asking critical questions before a determination is made. This type of structured evaluation of information will enhance the learning process for anyone who utilizes it.
Browne, M., Keeley, S., McCall Jr., M. & Kaplan, R. (1998) Readings in Critical Thinking, New Jersey: Pearson Custom Publishing.
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