Everyone complain of one of the company’s

Everyone has an inherent ability to think but only a few engage in critical thinking.

So then, what is critical thinking in particular and how is it important in our lives. Scholars describe critical thinking as ‘thinking within thinking’ to seek for clarity, accuracy, consistency, good reasons for or against, depth, relevance, and fairness among other elements. A critical thinker is one with the ability to solve a problem intellectually and skillfully by identifying the problem, conceptualizing on the same, analyzing, synthesizing, and evaluating information gathered and to exercise their best judgment to draw conclusions. Critical thinking is a valuable tool in every area of management whether in office or lifestyle management. A good manager should keep on learning by attending seminars and workshops and being open minded to stay ahead of the competition.

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An effective team is necessary for the process of critical thinking. The team should coordinate and focus on a common goal. There should be competition among the members and who should be always motivated on top of possessing all the necessary cognitive skills including interpretation, analysis, evaluation, and inference.

However, one major hindrance to critical thinking is emotional biasness. One should be able to fight the subjective barriers and be as objective as possible. Use of logics and basing ones judgment on good evidence can overcome this barrier. For one to think critically in business, differentiation between facts and fiction is necessary. Verification of the source would “help distinguish between the facts and fiction” (Hindery, 2001, p.

53). Close relationship with the source should not influence ones judgment. Accuracy is also vital as facts and fictions can be hectic to distinguish. Asking of questions is an integral part of critical thinking. Critical thinking is rather a process than an instant activity. It requires a good thinker, clear, logic, thoughtful, attentive to all facts, and open to alternatives. It entails five main steps all of which are very important and critical. The first step in critical thinking is identifying the problem, defining it and then seeking clarity to the same.

A problem can be from any part of the organization. For example, a customer may complain of one of the company’s products. A manager with critical thinking abilities would not just change the product; s/he should embark on a mission to establish the authenticity of such claims. The product could be bad or the consumer could be having ill tastes probably stimulated by a sickness or even overuse of the product. In any case, that is ones opinion and opinions might be different given that no one is a replica of the other.

However, the manager should not ignore the comment, as it might be a factual one. The second step is gathering information on the particular subject. Evidence from communication, experience, note taking, reasoning, reflection or even observations can act as some of the sources of information. In our case, the manager could involve the sales and marketing team to do a market survey and come up with viable information. The third step is evaluating the information gathered. The managerial body defines evaluation as the “act of assessing the credibility of statements or other representations, which are other people’s opinions” (Langdon, 2001, p.49).

In other words, the managerial body should asses the validity of the information gathered. In our case, the company should analyze the information gathered by the sales and marketing team. Additionally, the body should consider biasness of the staff, as this would influence the kind of decision taken. Choosing the best alternative is the fourth step. This stage requires thinking, both creatively and critically.

Powerful decision makers are of help at this stage. Experts consider two to three alternatives as being viable at this stage. Facts and opinions should support any option to forgo an alternative. In the case above, alternatives at stage, four could entail including a certain ingredient to the product, to change the whole formulation or to come up with an additive that covers the effect of a certain ingredient. Lastly, the implementation of the solution sets in.

Implementation of a new idea may take time but the results are worthwhile. In my previous job as a production supervisor in a certain dairy company, things went wrong; the man in charge of yoghurt production messed up, by adding a black flavor and a strawberry color to a huge amount of yoghurt. As the production supervisor, I was expected to be responsible for such an ‘accident’, which called my critical thinking ability to action. We held a meeting with the quality control supervisors to resolve the issue. We came up with different ideas on how to solve the same. Some of the ideas brought forward were to add the black color with greater concentrations to counteract the effect of the strawberry color. The second one was to pack as it was since such occurrence is a rare case. The third option was to drain all the yoghurt.

We evaluated the different options critically. The first idea did not work with the different concentrations tried hence out ruled. The second option was also put aside on the basis that a certain group of consumers owns black currant and they know the product inside out, so slight changes would cause lose of customers. Allowing the workers to drink would encourage such careless mistakes in future and our workers are part of our customers hence they should also enjoy quality products. The last option was the best and hence adopted.

Despite the incurred losses, our customer would receive a quality product, which would uphold our name. Implementation involved draining the whole product in the presence of security guards to ensure no drop found its way out of the production unit. In conclusion, critical thinking is a central part in any business. Managers should make decisions based on facts so this calls for continuous learning for all the workers at large.

References

Hindery, R. (2001). Indoctrination and Self-Deception or Free and Critical Thought? Lewiston, N.

Y.: E. Mellen Press. Print.

Langdon, K. (2001). Smart things to know about decision-making. Oxford: Capstone Publishing Ltd.

Critical to relentlessly pursue evidence wherever it leads

Critical thinking is a process that involves mental inquisition that is objective in nature as regards beliefs and analysis of facts. It is a process that involves evaluation, interpretation, inference and meta-cognition which requires reflective and systematic thinking about an issue (Scharfersman, 1991). It is therefore a well structured and controlled method of pursuit for knowledge that can be applied in all areas of life in general.

The general characteristics of critical thinking involves objective analysis of facts, impartial judgment of character, consideration of evidence, deductive reasoning based on facts and informed an conclusion (Scharfersman, 1991). The skills that are necessary for critical thinking include; high intellect, ability to think logically, impartiality, open-minded, imagination, courageous, good problem solving skills, curiosity and strategic thinking (Scharfersman, 1991). All these are key characteristics of an effective critical thinker; curiosity for instance is a necessary characteristic that is required to motivate a person to relentlessly pursue evidence wherever it leads without fear and regardless of the consequences. High intellectual ability is also a key factor that is necessary and which enables a person to be systematic in reviewing information and in the process of evidence investigation. The purpose of this paper therefore intends to discuss in general what critical thinking entails, process of critical thinking and analyze the three major approaches to critical thinking. The process of critical thinking can be described to occur at various levels, however it must involve four important elements decision making, judgment, investigation and problem solving (Scharfersman, 1991).

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At its most basic level, a critical thinker must exhibit the ability to provoke original ideas, systematic gathering of data, analysis of relevant information, ability to test available evidence, logical conclusions and ability to communicate effectively with team players during brainstorming of ideas (Scharfersman, 1991). These are the features of critical thinking that we shall compare to the three commonly applied approaches of critical thinking to determine the approach that is most ideal. There are three branches of life that critical thinking process can be described to emanate; critical thinking as a behavior, as an experience or as a learned skill (Scharfersman, 1991). For each of these three approaches the underlying concepts of critical thinking are preserved but the methods and processes of thinking differ with each and every approach. Critical thinking as a learned skill is certainly a re-emerging branch that is in its own right entirely structured around the modern day principles of critical thinking. It is probably one of the oldest professionals that have been in existence since the ancient time. Indeed the art of critical thinking as a profession is well documented in ancient Greek history where the most notable philosophers such as Descartes, Plato, Socrates and Aristotle among others are known to have been born and raised.

What is not in doubt about all this ancient philosophers is that they were well schooled, well cultured and attended the best taught academies of their times. Plato for instance is said to have been taught by the “most distinguished teachers of his time”; among who included prominent philosophers at the time such as Cratylus throughout his early years of education and even later in life (Keith and Guthrie, 1988). In fact this is the reason why most of these ancient philosophers ended up teaching in leading high institutions in Greece. Aristotle on the other hand came from an aristocratic family and his father was the personal doctor to the King of Macedon, Amyntas (Keith and Guthrie, 1988). In his early years he attended the best school in Macedon and would later be taken oversees to be taught by Plato himself.

This therefore is a confirmation that indeed the art of critical thinking is essentially taught or perhaps provoked with “intellectual light”, as education was once described by Descartes (Keith and Guthrie, 1988). In critical thinking as a behavior, a person is naturally talented with the characteristics of a good critical thinker without necessarily being educated in order to become an accomplished critical thinker. There are very few thinkers that can be described to be of this type, however what is not in doubt is that it is the talents of a natural critical thinker that are sharpened by training the intellectual mind in order to produce an accomplished thinker.

It is only when these two aspects are combined that the full potential of a critical thinker can be realized, but since critical thinking is assumed to be a natural behavior in this case it is taken then that it cannot be taught. Finally we can learn critical thinking through experience, this means that a person will gain the skills of a critical thinker through application of critical thinking skills, for instance through solving problems. But even in this case the advantages of intellectual training, which we have realized to be very influential, are lost. It is therefore clear that critical thinking as a learned skill is the most effective among all the others. This can best be illustrated where the nature of information that requires interpretation is technical in nature or even coded, in such a case the benefits of intellect cannot be overemphasized in the art of critical thinking.

References

Keith, W.

, & Guthrie, C., (1988). A History of Greek Philosophy: The Earlier Presocratics and the Pythagoreans.

California, CA: University of California. Scharfersman, S. (1991). An Introduction to Critical Thinking. Retrieved from http://www.freeinquiry.com/critical-thinking.html

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