Critical Thinking Application
In the course of a business day workers make many decisions. How are those decisions made? Sometimes companies hold meetings, other times individuals make decisions very quickly. By enhancing critical thinking skills, there is less reliance on "off the cuff" or "gut feeling" decision-making. Insert the paraphrased material (Tresero, 2007). According to Paul & Elder (2006), "Critical thinkers strive to develop essential traits or characteristics of mind. These are interrelated intellectual habits that enable one to open, discipline, and improve mental functioning" (p. 5). Paul & Elder also note nine specific traits defining critical thinkers: intellectual integrity, intellectual humility, intellectual sense of justice, intellectual perseverance, intellectual fair-mindedness, intellectual confidence in reason, intellectual courage, intellectual empathy, and intellectual autonomy (2006).
There are several formalized decision making models available and they all require application of critical thinking skills to diminish the effects of prejudice, both internal and external (Tresero, 2007). The Institute for Strategic Clarity (2001-2004) has an interesting model, which is more complex than the some of the other models. Their model is useful for virtual groups and includes steps that work in widely disparate geographic and time zones. The Institute for Strategic Clarity model has been adapted to filter out the "noise" which exists in the internet era, and will help any organization understand and clarify it's strategic planning. Another model put forth by businessballs.com (2006), uses a six-step approach. These six steps 1) define the issue, 2) gather facts, 3) brainstorm ideas, 4) analyze pros and cons, 5) select the best solution, 6) explains the decision to those involved. Businessballs.com (2006) also has a simplified version of the pros and cons process. This simple system defines a decision option...