In life, we make decisions every day and when basing our judgements, it entails a degree of intense thinking and reasoning. To make an informed decision critical thinking is required.
I had always thought thinking was not rocket science and did not require any special skill, however when I came to the Lagos Business School, my line of thought was enlightened to understand that the concept of critical thinking is so vital and if such skills are not thoroughly developed, it will affect the quality of decision one makes as a manager.
Critical thinking is the ability to think clearly and rationally, understanding the logical connection between ideas. Critical thinking has been the subject of much debate and thought.
Critical thinking might be described as the ability to engage in reflective and independent thinking.
In essence, critical thinking requires you to use your ability to reason. It is about being an active learner rather than a passive recipient of information.
Critical thinkers rigorously question ideas and assumptions rather than accepting them at face value. They will always seek to determine whether the ideas, arguments and findings represent the entire picture.
Critical thinkers will identify, analyze and solve problems systematically rather than by intuition or instinct.
Someone with critical thinking skills can:
- Understand the links between ideas.
- Determine the importance and relevance of arguments and ideas.
- Recognize, build and appraise arguments.
- Identify inconsistencies and errors in reasoning.
- Approach problems in a consistent and systematic way.
- Reflect on the justification of their own assumptions, beliefs and values.
Critical thinking is thinking about things in certain ways so as to arrive at the best possible solution in the circumstances that the thinker is aware of. In more everyday language, it is a way of thinking about whatever is presently occupying your mind so that you come to the best possible conclusion.
How to utilize critical thinking in decision making.
As you develop your critical thinking skills, you can apply them as you make decisions. The following suggestions can help in your decision-making process by:
Balance learning styles: The key is to balance reflection with action, and thinking with experience. First, take the time to think creatively, and generate many options. Then think critically about the possible consequences of each option before choosing one. Remember, however, that thinking is no substitute for experience. Act on your chosen option, and notice what happens. If you’re not getting the results you want, then quickly return to creative thinking to invent new options.
Choose an overall strategy.
Use intuition based on the scenario of the situation given.
Evaluate your decision
The cases we have seen so far in Analytics of Business problems have shaped my thinking because I have come to understand the idea of thinking outside the box. Most of these cases will test your brain’s ability to analyze and critically think to ascertain the problems and possible solutions or ways to tackle the problem. Most of the objectives are hidden under the ability of you to critically think, it ends up not being obvious in the case study and therefore you need the above-listed skills of critical thinking.
written by Chika Laju-okorodudu