What is Critical Thinking?
by Larry Paz
What is critical thinking? Clinically defined as intellectually disciplined process of actively and skillfully conceptualizing, applying, analyzing, synthesizing, and/or evaluating information gathered from, or generated by, observation, experience, reflection, reasoning, or communication, as a guide to belief and action. Are you still with me?
I like Barry K Beyer's definition. Critical thinking is making clear, reasoned judgments. This is a practical non-clinical definition. I'd like to follow up on his definition and see if I can help apply it to our everyday activities. I believe the opposite of clear reasoned judgment is cloudy thinking, non-clinically defined as unclear and unreasoned judgment. Now that was easy, wasn’t it?
A person responsible for the creation or assurance of internal controls in your organization, must be able to develop and use critical thinking and sound communication skills. They are paramount to your success.You must be ale to think “outside the box” and then communicate issues and solutions so that others in your organization can understand and act on the matters that need to be addressed.
I'm not demeaning those who are clinically foggy in their thought process. I have total and extensive empathy and sympathy for them. The rest of us may be able to fine-tune our critical thinking process by following a few simple steps.
There are times when I'm speaking or writing when I find myself fighting unclear thinking or unreasoned judgment. When I’m aware this is happening, I stop and reflect on the “SOAR Without Limits” process.
Here comes the commercial - a synopsis of the SOAR process.
If all else fails, go back to the clinical definition and attack each element in order. I’m looking forward to your comments on this one. I just know you’ll think about it.