Critical thinking is the ability to think clearly, act rationally and be independent, reflective thinkers.
As business owners and leaders, we have met other principals who are very intelligent and always have the right answers, they usually have great people skills and inspire everyone around them. All the while not being able to think through the implications of certain situations or evaluate potential problems they are faced with.
In today’s world, it is so important to be a good critical thinker, you have to be able to not only gather information but evaluate potential consequences. How significant is it to your situation and which piece of information will have the most impact on the obstacle at hand.
- How likely is one outcome over another?
- Which assumptions can you be sure of and what are the ones you should question?
These are important questions that help leaders improve and perfect their reasoning and make thoughtful decisions.
So, why should we take the time for meaningful reflection and thinking?
- Mindset: As business leaders we know there is no lack of ideas that we want to undertake. We want our teams to perform at their best and execute their best ideas always. It is only through reflective thinking that we, as CEO’s and executives can determine if their big ideas will work and if your organization’s culture will support it.
Reflective thinking would help you to determine if these ideas would be successful or fail, and how you could solve any problems.
- Meaning: All day long we are bombarded with information. There are emails, text messages, phone calls, social media updates, and the list goes on. It is impossible to process any of this information before we get the next interruption.
Since it is impossible for any leader to make such important decisions with all these intrusions, it is important that we take the time to understand all the facts and the consequences. All decisions must be made with meaningful purpose.
- Be in charge: It is important to recognize the when you take time to think and reflect, you are in control. You want to make sure you and your team act with intention and focus and this takes continuous reflection.
In today’s quickly shifting and extremely aggressive business world, the possibilities of poor decisions are greater than ever. Leaders have to make important decisions about their organization’s strategic direction.
It may not be easy to become a reflective leader, but it does become straightforward with practice and it will come to be second nature.
Remember, being genuine, reflective and mindful not only leads to a deeper sense of self, but also to an inner confidence and calmness that reduces some of the chaos and craziness connected with life and work.
Living with a greater sense of purpose and fulfillment will undoubtedly produce a more positive attitude and performance!
Do you practice reflective thinking in your leadership?
Dave Baney is the founder and CEO of 55 Questions, LLC and author of "The 3x5 Coach: A Practical Guide to Coaching Your Team for Greater Results and Happier People", which is now available in Paperback or a Kindle version at https://tinyurl.com/y8ecykfy
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