Critical Thinking Skills are Vital to Your Business
July 10th, 2015 by tds admin
Every business has its own set of daily problems and challenges. To effectively work through them, you need employees who can critically evaluate the situation to arrive at the best solution.
Critical thinking is defined as “the mental process of actively and skillfully conceptualizing, applying, analyzing, synthesizing and evaluating information to reach an answer or conclusion.” In other words, critical thinkers look into their own thought processes, actively analyze and evaluate information and question conclusions based on observation, experience, reasoning and good communications.
Conversely, non-critical thinkers accept information at face value and fail to see subtleties. To them everything is either black or white. They are often close-minded and view the world from an egocentric perspective, holding that their thoughts, beliefs and “facts” are the only relevant ones. They are passive participants when it comes to challenges and they rely on others for instruction or interpretation of the situation. In other words, they lack effective problem solving abilities.
Non-Critical Thinkers Can Be a Liability to Your Team
Because people who lack the ability to think critically often fail to take the time or effort to collect all of the details about a situation, they tend to make decisions that are expensive, create headaches and compound problems.
Imagine the scenario of an emergency worker who is called to the scene of an accident to tend to the injured. What would happen if that worker didn’t collect all of the pertinent information about the accident before determining what care the injured parties needed?
These types of scenarios play out time and time again in companies all over the world. The impacts of these scenarios can include millions of dollars in lost profits, unnecessary downtime, frustrated employees and supervisors, and possibly even grievances or lawsuits.
If yours is like most companies, you have both critical and non-critical thinkers on your team. The good news is that critical thinking skills are highly teachable, making such unfortunate situations avoidable.
Critical Thinking is a Learned Skill
No one is born with critical thinking ability. It’s only through experience and exposure that these skills develop.
Like a muscle, the brain must be exercised in order to gain strength and enhanced performance. With proper training, minds can be sharpened and the ability to analyze, process and interpret data can be honed.
Through carefully designed training programs, students can learn to challenge their own thought processes, analyze situations and arrive at logical conclusions. The more practice a person receives at these skills, the more efficiently and effectively that person becomes at spotting faulty logic and false premises.
On the other hand, training that simply provides a support tool and a step-by-step “how-to” process will fail to develop critical thinking in the participants since it requires little thought to follow a simple process. This training may also lead to a false sense of security and a belief that individuals are competent to make complex decisions when in fact they lack that ability.
How TDS Can Help Develop Critical Thinking Skills
While we do not offer a specific course in critical thinking, all training programs offered by TDS use a critical thinking approach. Our analysis process can help identify non-critical thinkers in your organization, while our carefully and methodically designed programs introduce key concepts and provide guided practice activities to increase comprehension and learning retention.
To learn more about how we can help your team members develop critical thinking skills, please contact us.
For more information on critical thinking, download our white paper.
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