Monday, January 27, 2020

Three Perspectives of Critical Thinking

 There are very few real critical thinkers because it is a complex type of thinking with the multitude of thought processes. 

Critical thinking has been described as “reasonable reflective thinking focused on deciding what to believe or do for making reasoned judgments.” It’s the mental process of actively and skillfully processing, conceptualizing, analyzing, and synthesizing information to reach an answer or conclusion.

Critical thinking is to make objective reasoning in order to form a judgment: Critical Thinking is a multifaceted thought process to make logical reasoning via analysis and synthesis, induction, and deduction. People have cognitive differences, it is no surprise to create the thinking gaps by imperfect people using imperfect processes via the narrow lenses. Thus, they need to acknowledge their perception bias, expand their perspectives by understanding diverse viewpoints, dispassionately analyze information, and integrate knowledge into holistic understanding in order to form sound judgments.

To practice critical thinking, it is important to broaden the lens and increase perspective, absorb fresh knowledge, see the value of inclusiveness, dig into the root cause of the issues, and get into the heart of problems. Critical thinkers can take the reasoned consideration to evidence, context, conceptualizations, methods, and criteria for making an objective assessment and analysis.

In reality, too often assumptions and prejudices get in the way of true understanding, with overwhelming growth of information and shorten knowledge cycle, people get stuck in their own little thinking box and outdated perception even the circumstances change a long time ago. It is important to broaden the lens and increase perspective, look at another belief from a little less emotional perspective. Furthermore, if you uncritically accept the information being received or knowledge being taught, many of them are out of date, you are also not a great critical thinker who can see around the corner or underneath the superficial layer, apply multidimensional understanding to make effective decisions.

Critical thinking is an integrated thought process of Systems Thinking: Critical Thinking has been described as the process of purposeful, self-regulatory judgment via analysis, and synthesis. Systems Thinking is about understanding the interconnectivity of the parts and the whole, and evolving emerging properties in decision-making and problem-solving. Critical thinking needs to combine different thought processes to gather a mass of information, break it apart and reconstruct with a level of accuracy projecting futuristic events, numbers, etc.

Critical Thinking is an integrated thought process of Systems Thinking. Systems Thinkers solve each unforeseen problem as it arises. They can dig deeper to ask why those problems happen, why there are differences, and realign or reorient thought processes to dig into the root causes. They understand there are different opinions or they are making a mistake. Thus, it’s always important to bear the opposite, synthesize massive amounts of information, hold information flow without getting lost on tangents.

Critical Thinking is about making up your own mind: Critical thinking is an iterative thought process leading to a series of refinements based on learning and experience. Independent Thinking is one of the great traits of a critical thinker. An individual's ability to think critically comes down to each individual person's desire to think critically and explore life's possibilities. Forward-thinking digital businesses today should look for and advocate critical thinking and encourage independent thinking, appreciate thinkers of consequence, not thinkers of convenience.

Unfortunately, many organizations keep the status quo and reward mediocrity and compliance, it makes people very uncomfortable to think independently, and therefore, prefer not to think critically. To practice critical thinking, kindly asks questions to draw out other's assumptions. At a deeper level, critical thinking has creativity embedded in it. Constantly check assumptions, recognize and appreciate the real critical thinkers who can fill cognitive gaps and management blind spots effectively.

Critical thinking is one of the most important skills to learn for a career and life in order to make sound judgments. There are very few real critical thinkers because it is a complex type of thinking with the multitude of thought process. There is evidence that business professionals, managers/leaders who utilize critical thinking with an evidence-based approach to decision making do better than those that don't and can solve problems radically.


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