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Critical Thinking and Decision Making Essay

The term “critical thinking” is not confined to the theoretical abstractions of scholars and academicians. It is also not an obscure method that needs knowledge of formal logic. It does not mean that one thinks negatively about an idea or an opinion. Critical thinking is an approach in problem-solving and decision-making. It also refers to the process of thinking about one’s thinking, meaning, it is a conscious evaluation of one’s thoughts. In a certain kind of way, it involves becoming aware and responsible for one’s thinking processes so that it is more rational and logical (Why Critical Thinking).

Author Belisle refers to critical thinking as a “process by which an individual evaluates information being heard or read to determine the validity of the information and any other issues that may be imbedded in the information. ” (Belisle, 2003). Critical thinking is important in order to discern what is best and note one’s perceptions of concepts. Critical Thinking and Decision Making Critical thinking is needed in making decisions. While critical thinking is possible without the need to make a decision, it is logical that a decision should not happen without applying discernment and critical thinking on the matter.

Yet, it still happens that

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decisions are made without any critical thinking involved (Belisle, 2003). In exercising critical thinking, one needs to know what the issues and conclusions are, the value conflicts and assumptions as well as assessing if valuable information had been missed out. Benefits of Critical Thinking Critical thinking allows an individual the opportunity to “make a choice about how he will react to what he sees and hears” (Readings in Critical Thinking, 3).

Likewise, it aids a person in determining “why things happen… or what experiences mean” (The Little Brown Compact Handbook, 281). By questioning the opinions and beliefs of others, an individual is able to discern that something may no longer be applicable now that a person is no longer a child (Belisle, 2003). People in the workplace need to learn the process of critical thinking and will serve as a guideline when evaluating information that may be part of a difficult problem or decision that needs to be made (Belisle, 2003). Applying Critical Thinking to Work-related decision

For instance, in my place of work, we had to del with a couple of major problems simultaneously: a financial squeeze and a serious level of burnout among its staff. Skilled professionals were showing the classic signs of occupational stress—high absenteeism, rapid turnover, erratic performance. I was one of the individuals called to assess the problem. We convened representatives of the other departments to open a discussion of working conditions. At the first meeting, an assistant administrator declared that burnout is not only inevitable but, from the organization’s point of view, advantageous.

Some were saying that “If a person can’t take it anymore, it may just be her time to leave. For her salary, we can hire two people right out of school. Of course, it is more likely that we will hire one, and save the extra salary. ” His remarks revealed quite clearly to the staff a viewpoint of at least several other administrators. The jobs of these people were assessed and were found to be critical to the success of the company. So, it was decided that there would be corporate trainers who would be taken in to donate time to teach the people about work simplification.

Administration also offered to pay cash bonuses for ideas on saving money and improving the quality of service. The move was important, both financially and symbolically. Unpaid staff members appreciated the money. They also appreciated the tangible sign that the administration, which they had so recently seen as callous, now valued what they said and did. Their willingness to take initiative and manage themselves increased. The atmosphere in the workplace began to improve markedly for the staff, and more importantly, for the clients.

It really jumped when word got around that the formerly intransigent financial manager was putting his formidable intelligence to work to learn the manager’s needs and concerns, and their language—and, conversely, to explain his work pressures to them. Thus, turnover and absenteeism are down and morale is up. REFERENCES Belisle, C. 2003. Critical Thinking and Decision Making. Retrieved Feb. 4, 2008 at: http://www. claire-marie. net/critical_thinking_and_decision_making. htm Why Critical Thinking? Retrieved Feb. 4, 2008 at: http://www. yorku. ca/rkenedy/critical_skills/student/critical_skills_web/why_critical_thinking/main. htm

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