By Reginald V. Finley Sr
WHAT IS CRITICAL
Questioning one’s own opinions and
Thinking a lot.
ideas. Thinking about thinking.
About being very intelligent.
Expressing humility with respect to
About being very knowledgeable.
established current knowledge.
Subjective and Biased analysis.
Being open enough to concede
Being so open-minded as to allow the
flow of all information uncritically.
Doubting Healthily. A Filter.
Doubting in the face of overwhelming
Being able to listen & understand
evidence. Universal Skepticism.
despite contrary thoughts and feelings.
SIGNS OF THE CRITICAL THINKER
Generally, a passion for Knowledge
Can easily admit Error
Guided by Facts.
Guided by the Evidence.
Can detect and bind emotional responses
Open to change beliefs/perspectives.
POSITIVES TO CRITICAL THINKING
Critical thinking allows us to be honest. When one has honestly selfevaluated themselves and can admit flaws, one is more prone to be trusted by
peers and management. The fear of being viewed as incompetent in fact
suppresses action and change.
Critical thinking opens-up one’s mind to learn new things and to see issues
from new perspectives. This can actually add value to the goals of the team
Critical thinking affords us the ability to more quickly recognize statements
that are probably false. This opens the door to improving system processes.
NEGATIVES TO CRITICAL THINKING
You may be viewed as a trouble-maker; when in fact, you are simply asking
reasonable and rational questions about a process to gain a more in-depth
understanding. A critical thinker understands how a deeper understanding of
processes, can improve efficiency within an organization.
It can be frustrating. If you are within an organization that does not share
information well and other employees are unmotivated to learn new information;
this can be quite challenging as change would seem rather arbitrary and rarely
ever seems to have developed from any feedback from those on the front line.
You may see issues/patterns developing before others. Depending on the
environment, this can also be quite stressful if one is not willing to, nor can
change what is obviously imminent.
HINDERANCES TO CRITICAL THOUGHT
Lack of respect for rational thought and good and reasonable sense.
Cultural Biases (tradition, religion, classism). Yes, Classes can have their our
Unwilling to Listen (fear, arrogance, insecurity)
Lack of Respect for Evidence (“they think they are so smart…”)
Fear (being negatively label at work, termination from, missed promotions)
False Dichotomies (Seeing thing in only “this or that” , black & white terms.
Third, Fourth, Option?)
INFLUENCE IN THE WORKPLACE
What are the benefits of fostering critical thinking within
myself and within my department?
It allows you to listen and wait for valid evidence before affecting an action
plan which could have a negative affect on the solution that you wish to bring
Implementing critical thinking in yourself first, frees your employees to think
independently and to build confidence in sharing their thoughts with you.
It fosters an environment where employees can evolve intellectually. By giving
them freedom to doubt, question, and challenge, they are afforded the means to
do further independent research increasing the companies collective knowledgebase.
INFLUENCE IN THE WORKPLACE, II
What are the benefits of fostering critical thinking within myself and within my
It can release and ease tension in the workplace by allowing workers to feel more
involved in the business process.
Fostering critical thinking in the workplace also reflects an authoritative management
and leadership style which is considered one of the best models when implementing
company turn-arounds, as well as, fostering employee’s general happiness. Authoritarian
(my way only) in contrast, tends to foster unhappy working environments as the employee
may feel insignificant, and thus, detached from the business.
It shows what a great leader you are to others. You have established yourself
intellectually and managerially. People trust you. They know that you’ll do and/or argue for
what makes sense.
To say it plainly, critical thinking helps you to be intellectually honest. As a
Critical Thinking Manager, you allow your employees to also be: intellectually
honest, curious, self-reflective, creative, confident, knowledge loving, feeling as
part of the team, able to trust you.
A video that reflects many of my ideas about Critical Thinking is Reflected on
Provided by Qualia Soup on Youtube.
I hope you enjoy it.
Thanks for reading!