Critical Thinking

Critical thinking is sometimes considered creative thinking or thinking outside of the box. Others consider it a process involving specific activities like investigation, interpretation, and judgment (in that order). One person, an “unknown source,” defined critical thinking as “Thinking about your thinking while you’re thinking in order to make your thinking better.”

“Five percent of the people think; ten percent of the people think they think; and the other eighty-five percent would rather die than think.”  —Thomas Edison

“The world as we have created it is a process of our thinking. It cannot be changed without changing our thinking.”  —Albert Einstein

Critical thinking, as we like to define it, relies on a three-step process suggested in 1961 by William Golding in Thinking as a Hobby. Small businesses can benefit by considering how this three-step process can be applied to the models they are attempting to advance.

Feeling vs. Thinking

Feelings are typically associated with emotions, and they do not usually require words. Thoughts, however, rely on words. We cannot express thoughts without words. The goal, here, is not to dismiss feelings. They are important. But what we must do is identify the feelings that can be translated into thoughts (and, thus, words). Distinguishing between feelings and thoughts, and articulating the thoughts (preferably on paper) is the first step.

Detecting Contradictions

The ability to detect a contradiction and to, in a sense, identify the two warring parties, represents the second step in this process. One might detect a contradiction between the company’s “core principles” and what the company seems to be emphasizing now. Another might detect a contradiction between employee job descriptions and employee expectations. Contradictions are best detected in a “between equation,” and they should be articulated in writing.

Offering Solutions

This third step is essential. Isolate each contradiction. And then begin offering solutions (plural). After considering the solutions, it should be determined which solutions are most viable for implementation and company growth.

Would your business benefit from this process? ABS Professional Services consultants are eager to meet with you. Reach out to us today. Let’s have a conversation about your needs.

Exercise to Increase Sales

When Richard Branson was asked what he does to become more productive, his answer was simple: “Workout.” While everyone may respond to exercise differently, the key is that everyone responds. Specifically, the body and brain respond. These responses manifest themselves in energy, focus, and productivity. And yes, if you are running a business, exercising should increase sales.

“Old minds are like old horses; you must exercise them if you wish to keep them in working order.”  —John Adams

“Physical fitness is not only one of the most important keys to a healthy body; it is the basis of dynamic and creative intellectual activity.”  —John F. Kennedy

Grow Your Body

Most literally, you can lift weights in an effort to grow your body. But if you think of “grow” in terms of stirring, moving, or increasing something, then consider a purposeful walk. This is not a leisurely stroll but a 45-minute walk, where you break a sweat as you cover approximately 3 miles. This will increase circulation in your body. The result should be better health, less stress, and more energy.

Grow Your Brain

As you exercise, the increased blood circulation leads to many benefits, including increased mental acuity and the release of feel-good chemicals like serotonin, dopamine, and endorphins. Additionally, the increased blood circulation delivers extra oxygen to the brain, which can lead to an increase in memory and learning ability. In Thomas C. Corley’s research of 177 self-made millionaires, he reported that “76% of the rich aerobically exercise 30 minutes or more every day,” believing that exercise grows neurons and fuels the brain. “The more fuel you feed your brain,” reports Corley, “the more it grows and the smarter you become.”

Grow Your Business

To grow a business, many things are fundamental: vision, hard work, sales. The meditative role of exercise (small movements repeated over and over) can improve focus and help advance a business owner’s vision. The reduced stress and increased energy should enable one to work hard. And if increasing sales is one of your goals, schedule your most important calls or meetings within the 2-3 hour post-exercise window. According to neuroscientist, Dr. Judy Cameron, “Immediately, the brain cells will start functioning at a higher level, making you feel more alert and awake during exercise and more focused afterward.”

Would you like to grow your business? ABS Professional Services consultants are eager to meet with you. Reach out to us today. Let’s have a conversation about your needs.