Eight Habits of Effective Critical Thinkers

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The five second rule

Nope, this isn't about the edibleness of that cookie you just dropped on the floor. We are talking about the brief pause you should take before making a decision. Some decisions require the triune or instinctive brain ("Hungry!"), others the limbic or emotional brain ("That cookie would make me feel better"), and the rest the neocortex or rational brain ("That cookie fell where the wet dog was sitting and therefore should not be eaten.") By taking a brief pause of a few seconds, we allow the appropriate brain the time to function.

Critical thinking is the ability to make decisions, solve problems, and take appropriate action in a systematic fashion. It has been identified as one of the key skills required for future success by educators, business leaders and governments. Most managers (97.2 percent) surveyed by the American Management Association for its 2012 Critical Skills Survey believed that critical thinking skills were important to drive future growth of their organizations. The same group, however, believed that only 10 percent of their employees were fully competent in critical thinking.

This slideshow features 10 simple ways to become a better critical thinker at work and in life, as identified by Jen Lawrence. Keeping these points in mind will help make you a more effective critical thinker: You will solve problems more easily, reach better decisions, and will have more agreement from stakeholders. Your life will be easier, you will be more popular, and your enemies will have more reason to hate you. But hey, that's the way the cookie crumbles. 

Jen Lawrence, who holds an MBA in finance, has widely written and spoken on corporate culture, critical thinking, and strategic planning. She has been interviewed by media outlets including The Toronto StarReport on Business TVNational Post, and Toronto Life. A resident of Toronto, Lawrence is a proud mother of two children.

Connect with Lawrence: http://engagethefox.wordpress.com/.

 

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