Learning the act of thinking                                              

Ebelechukwu Nkadi Written by Ebelechukwu Nkadi · 1 min read >

Have you ever wondered why a lot of wrong decisions are made, which end up costing us so much in a negative way? It is because we do not critically analyze situations. We get into problems because we often jump to conclusions, fail to think through implications, lose track of our goal, ask vague questions, miss key ideas, come to unreasonable conclusions, think egocentrically, have poor communication, cannot see issues from point of view of others other than our own, think narrowly and have little insight into our own ignorance. 

The analysis of business problem class taught me this. Since then, I question all situations to get a better understanding.

Critical thinking is the disciplined art of ensuring that we use the best thinking that we are capable of, in any set of circumstances.

For a better learning process, we must adopt these three approaches: Researching, Processing, and Output. To master good thinking, we must become influential critics of our thinking to become effective. We must make learning about thinking a priority. Improvement in thinking is just like improvement in other domains of performance. We have four recommendations to become influential in thinking, they are: clarify your thinking, stick to one point, ask questions, and be reasonable.

As humans sometimes we are irrational in thinking. We are not open-minded, we jump to conclusions without critically looking into the issue at hand. Things are not always the way they seem to look like. We have cognitive limitations. We are not perfect. We have many intuitions but sometimes they are wrong.

The quality of decisions we make can either make or break us. We tend to argue our positions passionately without looking at the opposing views, thereby taking the least productive approach “advocacy” rather than “contrast advocacy with inquiry.” The fact is that we should neither agree nor disagree with anyone until we clearly understand them.

There are strategies for clarifying one’s thinking. They are stating one point at a time, elaborating on what you mean, giving examples that connect your thoughts to life experiences, use analogies and metaphors to help people connect your ideas to a variety of things that they already understand.

In any field of life, we find ourselves, whether as an executive member of our company or as a wife, there is a need to acquire the skill of thinking critically, there is a need to adopt a process characterized by inquiry, as this produces decision of higher quality in a timely manner, that can be implemented effectively.

There is a need to convey openness to new ideas and be willing to accept different views. We must be good listeners. we must ask relevant questions. we must be able to put these questions in our own terms for a better understanding of the issue at hand. For a better analysis of a problem, we must make use of the following: What, Why, When, How, Who, and where.

Skilled thinkers want to change their thinking when they discover better thinking. This requires work and practice. The best thinkers are those who understand the development of thinking as a process occurring throughout many years of practice.

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