Critical Thinking Essay

926 words - 4 pages

IntroductionCritical thinking is the heart and soul to every decision that a person must make. Critical thinking is something that everyone does every day with or without even noticing it. In order to be an effective leader or manager, or just even to be able to make sound decisions, one must possess the ability to use critical thinking properly. In this paper I will describe what critical thinking is and the importance and benefits of using critical thinking in the decision-making process. I will also provide an example from my personal experience of how I used critical thinking in a work related decision.Critical Thinking Described"Critical thinking is, in short, self-directed, self-disciplined, self-monitored, and self-corrective thinking. It presupposes assent to rigorous standards of excellence and mindful command of their use. It entails effective communication and problem solving abilities and a commitment to overcome our native egocentrism" (Scriven & Paul, 2007)."Critical thinking consists of mental processes of discernment, analysis and evaluation. It includes possible processes of reflecting upon a tangible or intangible item in order to form a solid judgment that reconciles scientific evidence with common sense. In contemporary usage "critical" has a certain negative connotation that does not apply in the present case. Though the term "analytical thinking" may seem to convey the idea more accurately, critical thinking clearly involves synthesis, evaluation, and reconstruction of thinking, in addition to analysis" (Critical thinking, 2008). Critical thinkers are able to use their abilities to decipher problems through the use of personal experiences, reasoning, and or even simple observations. "Critical thinking has its basis in intellectual criteria that go beyond subject-matter divisions and which include: clarity, credibility, accuracy, precision, relevance, depth, breadth, logic, significance and fairness" (Critical thinking, 2008).Personal ExperienceCritical thinking plays a large role in my life as a leader in the world's greatest Air Force. Decisions constantly have to be made with regard to anything from simple every day tasks to decisions that can have a severe positive or negative impact on military member's lives. I recently had to deal with making such a drastic decision that ended up impacting not only a military member, but her entire family as well.The decision that had to be made was in regard to my unit's manning levels and if it was feasible to allow a member to leave my unit for another assignment. There were many things that weighed into making the final decision and I fully used the decision making process in doing so. First I identified the problem and defined what the overall goals and objectives were. The primary goal was to be able to successfully complete the mission with the required amount of personnel. The problem was if the member was allowed to leave it would...

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