Recently I was included in an Up Journey article where I answered the question ‘Why is Critical Thinking Important’? Below is an excerpt from that piece and three steps to take to incorporate a critical thinking framework in your organization.
As a former business executive and now the owner of a boutique organizational strategy consultancy, I see a lack of critical thinking as one of the major issues affecting business communication and results.
And it drives me crazy.
At the root of the problem are people taking direction, moving too fast and not asking enough clarifying questions. The outcome is misalignment that impacts not only the organization internally but the customers it serves.
I counsel teams on the importance of exercising this critical thinking muscle on a regular basis as part of their decision-making workflow.
I’ve summarized the following steps I take them through:
Step 1: Pause (literally) and sit back.
Step 2: Assess Impact. Ask “Have we gained perspective from everyone that this action will affect?”
This isn’t about taking more time to make a decision. This is about saving time later and engaging those that might be implementing what roles out.
Taking a moment to include their critical point of view also strengthens the relationship and helps them to be “seen”.
So if the answer is “no”, then that’s the next step.
Step 3: Create a high-level communication brief that explains what the topic was under review, a summary of the perspectives that were considered, and a solution that is inclusive of the final outcome.
Implementing these steps is the foundation of creating a critical thinking culture and accelerating your decision-making process.