In making a decision that could affect the future of the business, one needs to apply critical thinking to the thought process. In a recent work related situation, critical thinking played an active role in the decision-making process. Each administrative staff in our research institute is responsible for specific tasks. With the increase of reports being requested, new proposals being submitted, event planning, and volatility in travel reimbursements, the assistant director along with the administrative staff needed to reevaluate the assignment of duties. The following overview will outline the importance and benefits of critical thinking in the decision-making process as well as what steps were taken in the work-related decision.
What is thinking? According to Gary Kirby and Jeffrey Goodpaster, “Thinking does not have a clear definition and experts do not know the answer” (2007). Thinking can be a way of communicating, writing that gives clarity, and dialogue that gives validation. According to the Encarta Dictionary, thinking is defined as a use of the mind to form thoughts; and opinions or conclusions arrived. However, misthinking is the opposite of clear thinking which results in confusion and can lead to costly conclusions (2007).
Personal barriers which could impede clear thinking consist of enculturation, religion, self-concept, ego defenses (denial, projection, rationalization), self-serving biases, role of expectations, emotional influences (anger, passion, depression), and stress (Kirby and Goodpaster, 2007). Even though personal barriers come into play, the more one engages in self-reflection and becomes aware of the biases and limitations, overcoming the personal barriers will result in positive critical thinking.
The start-up definition of critical thinking is “the art of thinking while thinking in order to make thinking better. It involves three interwoven phases: it analyzes thinking, it evaluates
References: Kirby, G. & Goodpaster, J. (2007). Thinking. 4th Ed. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice Hall. Paul, R. & Elder, L. (2006). Critical Thinking: Tools for Taking Charge of Your Learning and Your Life. 2nd Ed. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice Hall.