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Critical Thinking Strategies:Does Experience Impact Critical Thinking?

Posted by Jimmy Hovey on Mon, Nov 12, 2012 @ 09:15 AM

I believe the role of thinking in a business setting never gets enough credit.  Thinking is not acritical-thinking-strategies tangible, it is intangible you can't see it without the measurable results.  So while someone may spend time thinking, it may appear to others that they are at rest or just plain lazy.  

In fact, the only way I get "thinking" time is to leave the office, usually working from home.  My graduate degree (MBA) was very focused on developing me into a critical thinker, because thinking has a very important role in business at all levels of the organization. This is a skill often recognized among the academic world, but not often in the business world.  

I want to help business owners become better business owners.  I believe one of the ways you do that is to develop your critical thinking strategies and is the reason behind this article that is a little off topic from what I normally write.  

But is it really off topic?  

Afterall, being successful with marketing means developing a strategy, which requires thinking. 

Let's see what you "think": 

Does Experience Impact Critical Thinking?

There are many strategies for becoming a critical thinker.  One can reflect on experiences,challenge their beliefs, seek out new truths and practice.

No matter what strategy one uses to develop their critical thinking skills the process remains the same, seek truth in order to make more positive, successful decisions. 

Development of critical thinking skills should continue through ones entire life as new experiences, knowledge and challenges arise.

Past Experiences and Critical Thinking Strategies

In many cases, it will take a more than one negative experience, something closer to a major crisis, to push us into trying to think differently. These experiences should cause us to step back and try to figure out what we could have done differently.

It takes the crisis to force us examine our decisions, to try to make better choices for the future. These are reactive forms of critical thinking strategies.

As many know, in the world of business, proactive decisions are more productive than reactive ones. Learning from past experiences to help predict future problems can be a powerful tool. Emergencies and unexpected issues arise all the time.

While one cannot predict all outcomes all the time, the use of critical thinking can allow shed light on the many possible outcomes that can arise from one choice. Examine the possible outcomes and be prepared to act quickly.

Our critical thinking strategies lead to decisions that have been made based partly on past experiences.

Assumptions and Critical Thinking Strategies

Everyone has their own set of assumptions. Assumptions are thoughts, opinions, attitudes and realities that live inside our subconscious.

We tend to take these assumptions for granted, even though they directly affect our attitudes and the way we think about things, people and situations. We must all take the time to examine our assumptions as they will help us better understand how they shape our critical thinking.

These assumptions are usually shaped by past experiences in life, as well as, experiences we wish to have someday in the future.

There are numerous reasons why people have subconscious assumptions. Two that are directly related to experiences: 

  1. Prior Knowledge: Our assumptions come from what we think we know about an issue. We think we know these things because of past, personal, experiences or stories about others' experiences. 

    It's vitally important to the success of our businesses to use appropriate critical thinking strategies for decision making. We must know, for a fact, what is true and relevant. Knowledge gained from past experiences will help us do this.

  2. Experience: Everyone has a specific set of experiences that directly influence the way they respond to things, both positive and negative. Good critical thinking strategies help us understand two things about our experiences: 

    1) We must not allow our past experiences to limit our ability to think strategically in certain situations. Don't let old fears and anxieties from the past cause us to make irrational decisions. 

    2) We can use our past experiences to help make better decisions by analyzing the way things turned out in the past. This will help us make better and better decisions. 

Developing the Critical Stance

This is a general ability to use critical thinking strategies, and apply them to anything one encounters. This is a very critical part of any successful business.

We must be able to recognize the subconscious assumptions that have negative impacts on our business lives. It’s critically important one draws on the knowledge gained from experiences in order to make decisions that will have positive impact on our companies.

Only then will we be able to use our experiences as positive reasons behind decisions made using critical thinking strategies.

Need Help Developing Your Critical Thinking Skills?

Critical thinking does not come natural to all people, especially busy business people.  But, all of us think, you may not give it credit even though now you do it on the fly.  Developing your critical thinking skills could be one of the most important investments you could make into your business.  Click the button below for a FREE consultation. 

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Other Related Critical Thinking Articles: 

The 5 Most Common Errors In Developing Critical Thinking Skills

Critical Thinking Strategies: Personal vs Professional Applications

Topics: critical thinking strategies, critical thinking errors, what are some critical thinking strategies

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