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The Power of Critical Thinking

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The Power of Critical Thinking

Why is Critical Thinking the #1 skill of importance in today's workplace?
Because when you think critically - you work smarter.

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The increased speed of business combined with the complex flow of information makes today’s rapidly changing workplace a cluster of problems, options and decisions.  Employees are moving into new roles inside the organization, often with limited direction and experience.  It becomes critical that each time a decision is made and a problem is addressed, the right questions are asked, relevant information is gathered and a strong foundation of evaluation is applied.  Organizations can’t survive in this economy with “seat of the pants’ thinking.

Now, more than ever, it is critical that each and every employee be competent in analysis, problem-solving and decision making, no matter what their function inside the organization is.  Cognitive ability is directly related to performance.  Organizations that can develop strong critical thinking skills have a significant and measurable competitive advantage in the business workplace.

This seminar increases the participant’s awareness and understanding of critical thinking as applied to strategic decision making.

What is Critical Thinking?

  • Definition of critical thinking.
  • Critical thinking vs. strategic thinking
  • Critical thinking vs. emotional intelligence
  • Critical thinking and risk aversion
  • Assessment of your critical thinking skills


Concepts Used in Critical Thinking

  • Proper “problem” definition
  • Gathering relevant data
  • Proper interpretation of data
  • Drawing “warranted” conclusions
  • Rendering sound decisions


Overview of Tools Used in Critical Thinking

  • Process flow charts
  • Root cause analysis
  • Cause & effect diagrams
  • Venn diagrams
  • Pareto analysis


Exercise in Critical Thinking

  • How individual and team decision making differ
  • The “Abilene Paradox” and what to do about it
  • The role of “bias” and “fallacy” in decision making
  • Dealing with artificial harmony and accountability
  • Team “critical thinking” exercise


Summary and Course “Take-Aways”

“That evening I spent an hour telling my husband about all the concepts & ideas learned during my day.  Three business days later & I have thought about this and/or implemented some of the concepts each day in the workplace. Great!” 

Peg Baldwin, Bankers’ Bank of Kansas, Wichita, KS

Working smarter, more efficiently, and being capable of making strong, well thought out decisions are the responsibility of every employee in the company.

If you work projects, participate in work teams, respond to the customer, estimate, or advise managers, this class will strengthen your ability to do your work.

Please contact me if you have any questions or concerns:  paula.seiwert@wichita.edu

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