Concept of stress with businessman sleeping on a laptop

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.

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