In addition to participating in these types of leadership courses, leaders can take charge of their own critical thinking development by taking these actions:
Get some feedback about your critical thinking skills from a trusted boss, colleague or coach
Are you jumping to conclusions or using a reasoned, analytic process as you work toward a goal? Are you able to put aside biases and assumptions during analysis and decision-making? What kind of “thinker” are you perceived to be and why?
Challenge yourself to develop a deeper understanding of your company’s business, especially its financial and strategic drivers of success
Are you clear about what drives the organisation’s decisions, how financial success is achieved and how you impact both strategy and the bottom line? Are you making decisions that are aligned with this understanding?Is your knowledge of the business strong enough to drive behaviour and to engage teams and employees?
Use multiple sources of data to form an “information web” before making a decision or forming a conclusion
Are you asking a lot of questions? Identifying stakeholders and their issues and opinions? Separating facts from assumptions?Are you using the Internet as “one” source of information rather than “the” source? Can you analyse information from different perspectives and viewpoints?
Take time to think
Are you rising above the fray when it’s important to make a decision, take action or form an opinion? Are you aware of the distractions getting in the way of your thinking time and taking action to minimize these distractions? Are you finding time and space to let your mind focus and reflect on important issues?
Ask for input, critique and opinions from others as you analyse alternatives
Are you checking tentative conclusions with others? Using peers, coaches or mentors to critique your thinking process? Are you willing to open your mind to other ideas or alternatives?