Critical thinking is the process of evaluating the truthfulness and the value of information and opinions in a systematic, purposeful, and efficient manner.
Unfortunately, not many people demonstrate high levels of critical thinking, such as focusing on the most relevant information, asking the right questions, and separating facts from assumptions. According to a survey of HR professionals conducted by SHRM and The Conference Board, 70 percent of employees with a high school education were deficient in critical thinking skills. Even among employees with a four-year college education, 63 percent had adequate skills, and only 28 percent were rated excellent critical thinkers.
We live in a complex world and making sense of it is can be challenging. It would be extremely difficult to analyze every issue or idea we encounter in depth. That is why our brain often takes “short cuts.” Some of these include focusing on ideas that support what we already believe or drawing quick conclusions based on limited data. While these techniques and biases may help speed up our thinking on less important matters, they can also result in poor decisions on issues that are truly important. Therefore, Critical Thinking provides frameworks and strategies that can improve your ability to reason in a systematic, objective and efficient manner.
Rick Lepsinger is President of OnPoint Consulting. His career has focused on helping organizations and leaders identify and develop leaders, work better virtually, enhance cross functional team performance, and get from strategy to execution faster. He conducts numerous seminars and workshops on succession management, leading from a distance, leading cross functional teams, and enhancing execution. Rick has written numerous articles and is the author or co-author of several books.
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