Critical Thinking Application Paper
Critical thinking is about how we approach new information, problems, ideas, issues and questions. It is a process that demands that we constantly examine our world and our place in it by inquiring, examining ideas, inferring evidence, utilizing information, making judgments and examining under the surface to ascertain how best to react to the ever-changing realities and challenges of life. Critical thinking at the work place helps evaluating the gains and who loses that an organization can attain upon taking a decision among many alternatives that are plausible to meet a challenge.
Critical thinking is essentially a dynamic process, one in which individuals in a group or alone think for ourselves, analyze notions for ourselves, invoke questions, interpret applicable data and generate our own decisions or evaluations instead of passively consenting information or conclusions from an outside source. Critical thinking in a work place, entails engaging with others to analyze and challenge our premises and come up with a more critical realization about privilege, change and decision.
Critical thinking depends on certain degrees of self-confidence as it calls for believing one’s own reasoning and thinking skills. Critical thinking comprises analyzing our grounds for believing something and the significances that our beliefs have on our thinking and action. Despite not ignoring the significance of our values and beliefs, we still need to be honest about them and open to exploring and challenging in consistencies between these values and beliefs and our behaviors and goals. We also need to analyze our prejudices, conceptions, suppositions and feelings and seeing how they affect our conclusions.
Critical thinking in decision making
Fisher (2001) argues that critical thinking at work place is the ability to look at situations openly, understand it from numerous perspectives and execute the appropriate action. A critical thinker carefully considers information and distinguishes the facts from views and assumptions, they think about different outcomes and consequences of each decision or move. Critical thinkers come to correct conclusion and implement it affectively and economically.
Working for a small IT firm as a marketing manager, our department was tasked with meeting the sales targets for our company. Heading the marketing section of the firm, a software development house specializing in the development of a point of sale software, the marketing section was expected forge effective means of creating customers interest in our products and services this necessitated the use of sales techniques and business communication. However, the company didn’t perform well as shown by the quarterly results. Having failed to accomplish our targets, a meeting was scheduled at the departmental level to strategize how to alleviate the issue.
Tools of critical thinking were used to arrive at a decision that was rational, economical and effective. These tools of critical thinking were used to generate assumptions, gather data, interpret and make conclusion. The marketing activities of the department were questioned and records of evidence presented to ascertain whether or not the marking strategies agreed upon earlier had been executed. Data of sales records for the various products and services were presented in the meeting with focus being made on the time when sales were low so as to precisely identify the domain of the problem causing the low sales. Availability of evidence was measure against making of assumptions that would have been untrue (Puaker 2009).
From the evidence, it was realized that the Point of sale software suite never sold as expected while the rest of the products meet the expected targets. Narrowing down to the Point of sales software, past marketing strategies for this specific product were cross checked and surprisingly it was noted that little had been done to market the product to leading stores in the locale. Those charged with marketing of the software were questioned to establish their point of view about the low sales. Their views and marketing records available we examined and it was observed that the software product received little in marketing efforts. The other products and services made incredible sales due to an effective marketing campaign as outlined in the records. A decision was passed by the department that, series of marketing promotion of the software be done and more areas to be covered by the marketing team. Emphasis was to be placed on the customers to approach and the frequency of visiting them. A comprehensive list of potential customers was generated and the number of visits by marketers to these customers increased.
The department also sought ideas and advice from the other departments on how to best implement the. Amazingly, sales for the software double at the close of the 2nd quarter a sign the indeed the lows sales issue had been solved via critical thinking.
Importance of critical thinking in decision making
Charles and Kreitzbergs (2009), agree that critical thinking helps raise vital questions issues affecting us, isolating issues and problems clearly and precisely and thus ensure that the right problem is focused on. It also enables individuals to gather, evaluate relevant information and use evidence to for effective interpretation without bias or partiality. Through the use of critical thinking, individuals can come up with well-reasoned conclusion and solutions to problems by testing them against relevant measures and standards which are clear and logical. Critical thinkers are empowered to open mindedly while considering the available choice of thoughts looking deeply at the assumptions, implications, and practical consequences thereby eliminating the likely hood of executing wrong measures in correcting issues. Critical thinking also empowers individuals with the ability to communicate effectively with others in finding solutions to complex problems affecting an organization and thus enhancing team work.
Benefits of critical thinking in decision making
The value of critical thinking in decision making is immense as it offers guidance in the identification of a problem and implementation of solutions to correct the problem. The use of critical thinking is crucial in decision making at it helps realize decisions based on evidence and not feeling which may be misleading. As illustrated by Facione (2010), critical thinking helps individuals distinguish their observations from their conclusions as well as searching beyond the facts to find out what those facts imply. This approach helps individuals to come up with concrete decisions that are workable and sensitive to prevailing conditions of an organization. Critical thinking calls for a careful look for evidence as well as the available options and the potential outcome upon execution of any action. This will ensure that right decision are made and thus attainment of goals. With utilization of critical thinking in decision making, doubts and uncertainties are eliminated through the use of logic and reasoning and this ensures that a decision is clear and precise.
Critical thinking is an active process essential solving problems and arriving at solutions that are concrete, rational, effective and economical. As critical thinkers, individuals learn to eliminate bias and impartiality to views and beliefs while at the same time open to criticism. Critical thinking is therefore an indispensible tool useful at ensuring that individuals reason together to achieve solutions to problems through questioning, analysis, evaluation and inference. Therefore the use of critical thinking is central in promoting productivity, continuity and growth of an organization.