Step One: Identify the Decision to be Made
Evaluate the issue at hand and identify the core decision to be made. This sounds easy, and many times is, but the core decision can sometimes become clouded in the muddle of other issues that may be surrounding the root of the decision.
Critical thinking should be applied to this first step by eliminating pitfalls that can occur, especially if the decision is one whose ultimate outcome is impacted by emotional forces as well as factual information. In my case, I was offered a job to become the Executive Director of another non-profit organization in my community. With this offer, came a flood of emotional initial reactions from me, both positive and negative. In order to make the right decision for me, I had to isolate the ultimate issue. The decision I had to make was if I wanted to leave my current organization and accept the new position. Step Two: Know Yourself
Once the decision has been defined, the second step in the process is to perform a self-assessment. There are four sub-categories for the self-assessment: Skills, Interests, Values, and Personality. This requires critical thinking because the self-assessment must be done as honestly as possible and only information that has relevance to the decision at hand should be included. When assessing myself in relation to my decision at hand, I need to be able to separate only the types of skills and traits that apply directly to the decision, and omit factors that do not apply. Critical thinking also gives me a tool to judge myself in the most objective way possible. As much as I would like to tell you that I am the easy going, go with the flow, flexible and happy-go-lucky type of girl, I know that is often not the way I behave at work. I can be seen as rigid and inflexible due to my desire for order, organization, and strict adherence to guidelines. While some view my ability to organize and keep order as a positive trait, and it is working very well for me in my current position, I need to ask myself how it will be viewed in the new position.
Another important element of the self-assessment is the examination of your values. There is a huge part of me that...