Why Critical Thinking (CT) Rocks!

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CT is one of the best things that I have ever learned. For me, it is as fun as my favorite sport (i.e., skiing fresh powder snow on a brilliant sunny day). In this post, I’ll tell you why CT is insanely cool … 

Thinking and making decisions is something that we do every day. However, some people are better at thinking than other people. Example: Albert Einstein had ways of thinking that led him to invent new ways of describing motion. Example: Steve Jobs had ways of thinking that led to creation of technology products (like the iPhone) and a successful business (i.e., Apple).

CT involves choosing to use specific methods that have proven over time and contexts to work well. These methods have been developed by people over thousands of years. Example: The methods used for scientific research. Example: The methods used by Socrates. Summary. CT involves a purposeful choice to use methods that are well established. In later posts, I’ll lay out the methods (they are simple), give you a list of killer references, etc. For now, I’ll focus on the three most important benefits of learning critical thinking.

Persuasion: Benefit #1. You will be insanely good at swaying people. Examples:

  • Persuade your child to use drugs and alcohol in responsible ways and to avoid abuse/addition (if you are a parent)
  • Persuade your employee to behave in ways that advance their career + advance the business (if you are manager)
  • Persuade many people to buy what you are selling (if you are a salesperson)
  • Persuade your colleagues to take wise actions (if you are a team member)
  • Persuade people to read your book (if you are an author)

Great Ideas: Benefit #2. You will be insanely good at reaching wise conclusions or finding the best ideas. Examples:

  • Figuring out the best way to make free throws with a high percentage (if you are a basketball player)
  • Figuring out who committed a crime with a high degree of certainty (if you are a police detective)
  • Figuring out the best ways to design your product so that it will succeed in the marketplace (if you are an entrepreneur)
  • Figuring our what the p value means and why the p value is useful (if you are a statistics student)
  • Figuring out the best way to learn guitar (if you are guitar student)
  • Figuring out the quality (or lack thereof) of a product (if you want to design or to buy a product)

Systematic Approach: Benefit #3. You will have a set of methods that you can apply many times per day. You can apply these methods to nearly all aspects of your personal and professional life. You will be self-aware of how, why, and when you apply your methods. Even better, you can continually improve your methods so you receive more benefits. The most “killer benefit” of the CT method happens when a group of people decide to use CT as their method of choice. When you choose to speak CT in your company (or team, or classroom, or family) then many issues such as anger and poor decision making go away. CT is the lifeblood of a high performance organization. Many times I have been in groups where we all speak CT; I attest that CT brings out the best in the human spirit.


How important is CT to you? Why?

Please let me know by filling out a comment because I use the comments to prioritize which resources to build.



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