A Midwest university professor complained: “We are now focusing more on how to use the tools of communication than we are on how to effectively communicate … As a result, we are turning out computer and internet gurus who can’t write and think creatively.”
You bet they are. Making your points to your boss or anyone else requires more than information. It demands the critical thinking that convinces them of your point of view.
I would venture as far as saying that technology has set us back in the general field of thinking, trusting gadgets to do some of our thinking rather than using them to enhance our lives.
Critical thinking has never been more important – or more challenging. With so much information bombarding us 24/7, sifting through the content to find factual, legitimate and useful material is no small task. Do you believe everything you read or hear? Do you check sources?
Thomas Edison, the genius of invention, had a way of thinking that was both critical and creative. Fortunately, it isn’t only a natural-born talent. It’s a habit you can cultivate. Take some lessons from Edison’s thinking processes:
These techniques may not make you into Thomas Edison, but they will help you learn to filter out the garbage that clouds your thinking and decision-making. And there is plenty of junk floating around out there. I would also recommend these two rules:
Changing your thinking patterns takes practice. But as it becomes habit, you’ll notice that you will not second-guess yourself as often and will spend less time worrying about “what if?”
Critical thinking can also help you with creative solutions to problems.
A man had traveled about six miles in a taxi when he discovered that he had left his wallet at home. Realizing that he had a problem, he knew that he had to take some kind of action. So about a block short of his destination he leaned forward and told the driver: “Stop at this hardware store. I need to buy a flashlight so I can look for the hundred dollar bill that I dropped back here.”
When he came out of the hardware store, the taxi was gone.
Mackay’s Moral: Critical thinking is critical to success.
Seven-time, New York Times best-selling author of "Swim With The Sharks Without Being Eaten Alive," with two books among the top 15 inspirational business books of all time, according to the New York Times. He is one of America’s most popular and entertaining business speakers, and currently serves as Chairman at the MackayMitchell Envelope Company, one of the nation’s major envelope manufacturers, producing 25 million envelopes a day.
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