Decoding Critical Thinking: Your Path to Wise Decision-Making

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Remember, wise decisions can be taken if you follow the Critical Thinking process and have a Solution Mindset.

Before we move ahead, let me set a context for you.

Consider a movie – key characters in a movie are the Hero, the Heroine, and then the Villain. All movies have an outcome like good wins against evil, or, and they lived happily after…

No movie exists without a villain. A movie without a villain will be a boring movie, right?

In this movie also, we have one hero, one heroine, three villains and an outcome. The outcome here is a “wise decision”.

Let me introduce the Hero first – Critical Thinking.

What is critical thinking?

Critical thinking is the discipline of rigorously and skillfully using information, experience, observation, and reasoning to guide your decisions, actions, and beliefs.

Each word has a deeper meaning to it.

But let me introduce the villain now – it’s “Conformity Thinking”.

Conformity Thinking is the process whereby people change their beliefs, attitudes, actions, or perceptions to more closely match those held by groups to which they belong or want to belong or by groups whose approval they desire.

Have you faced this scenario where you give work to your team, they agree to do the work (even though one of them knows very well that there is a big flaw in it)? When the work fails, the team member says, “I knew it – Mujhe to pehle se hi pata tha.”

Sometimes they may not share it with you, but in their head, this goes on.

What was going on there?

The team member agreed to do the work because others nodded and agreed. He wanted to remain part of the group and so changed his perception.

This happens at the top level as well. The CEO asks the leadership team to follow a strategy, and all agree to him, even though one of them knows there is a flaw in it but still conforms with the team. The outcome can be disastrous for the company.

So, to check conformity behavior in your organization, you can observe the following:

  • Uniform Agreement: Consistent and unanimous agreement on decisions or ideas without much discussion can be an indication of conformity.
  • Limited Variation in Solutions: If the team consistently comes up with similar solutions without exploring alternatives, it suggests conformity.
  • Silence or Avoidance of Conflict: Team members who consistently remain silent during discussions may be conforming to the group’s consensus.
  • Overreliance on Authority Figures: If team members primarily rely on authority figures without questioning, it may indicate conformity.
  • Consistent Adherence to Norms: If the team consistently follows established norms without questioning, it suggests conformity.

Feel free to share your observations with me.

Wish you success!

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