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Functions and importance of Critical and Creative Thinking in a workplace
Firms and organizations attempt to maximize the efficiency levels of the enterprises through ensuring a smooth work relationship amongst the stakeholders. Presence of workers who are equipped with critical and creative thinking skills enables such a relationship to be easily achievable in the workplace. The phenomenon can be attributed to the fact that the matters arising in the firm can be easily handled with effectiveness. Such workers are able to think rationally and concisely before making various crucial decisions. In this case, the employee is able to understand the logical link in ideas which is important since the decision made as a result is not biased. I believe that in a workplace reason should be the justifying factor in making a decision and not emotions as some employees tend to follow their emotions which in turn lead to wrong choices.
According to business consultant and author Steve Siebold critical thinking involves eradication of all emotion from an issue and observation of facts to make logical decisions (Fallon, 2017). A rational and open-minded worker is able to view things with varying perspectives based on the information available and construct an approach to solve the issues the organization faces. Below is a detailed discussion of the benefits and functions of the critical and creative thinking skills in a workplace.
An enterprise which has a critical and creative thinking workforce is able to initiate new ideas which can be fruitful in the industry (Root III, 2017). Often, when issues arise in an organization they are classified according to predetermined categories or measures that are pre-set are prioritized to solve such emergencies. However, when a firm is equipped with rational-minded workers, the temptation to treat such issues as treated in the past is minimized. Here, the employees and the management tend to look at the problem arising from another dimension and come up with conventional solutions to eradicate the problem. As a result, new opportunities are created to satisfy the needs of the industry which in turn leads to an elevated production level in the organization.
Besides, rational thinking promotes team-work and cohesion among the stakeholders in the organization. When the entire workforce is equipped with the critical and creative thinking skill, they are able to understand each other better; hence, enhancing unity in the firm. Jen Lawrence, the co-author of Engage the Fox says that if a CEO makes a knee-jerk reaction without incorporating all stakeholders then it proves hard to culminate the culture of critical thinking (Fallon, 2017). The diversification of the workers enables each one of them to impact the company’s future positively since they work in unison to find solutions on various issues that the firm may be facing. In the long-run, such a workforce is able to relate with each other in a friendly and professional way; hence, enabling them to deliver their duties accordingly despite the hardships they may be facing in the workplace.
The critical and creative thinking skill among the workforce also plays a crucial role in developing options for various issues arising in the organization. The phenomenon is attributed to the fact that each of the workers thinks differently which enables them to come up with diversified solutions to the issue at hand (Angelo, 2017). The process of acquiring such ideas can be through calling staff meetings whereby the workers of the company can offer their opinions through activities such as brain-storming or they are given some time to go and research on the issues and come up with alternative remedies. The ideas from the labor force are analyzed and evaluated with the best ideas being put into consideration. As a result, the enterprise is able to provide its clients with a range of options.
Besides, the ideas provided by the rational workforce play a crucial role in enhancing innovations in the organization (Siddiqui, 2017). The employees provide several solutions to the issues that are presented to them by the management. The innovations provide the organization’s clients with beneficial products and services; hence, promoting customer loyalty. Besides, such innovations led to reduced costs in the enterprise since they can involve usage of the available materials rather than the purchase of new raw materials which suggests higher returns to the capital invested.
Another crucial function of critical and creative thinking skill in a work environment is that the skill promotes the language and presentation skills. The laborers in the firm should be able to think clearly and systematically; hence, enabling them to express the ideas with a good flow and concisely (Rayhanul, 2017). Organizations hold conferences and meetings with the stakeholders and the staff members whereby the management presents reports on the ongoing in the firm to the public. Such reports reflect the levels of productivity in the enterprises, the challenges faced and the possible solutions to the problems arising. Besides, the reports by the administration present the future proceedings of the enterprise to the public so that the interested parties can seek the services of the company. The phenomenon suggests that the staff which prepares and presents such reports should be rational-minded and comprehensive since the aim of such reports is proving to the stakeholders and the public that the enterprise is a worthwhile investment.
The modern economy is based on information and technology which makes it very important for workers in any organization to be able to quickly adapt to changes. The phenomenon suggests that firms need to have flexible intellectual skills which enhance the integration of various sources of knowledge to promote to problem-solving and decision-making process. According to Steve Siebold, the author of 177 Mental Toughness Secrets of the World Class, critical thinkers should be open-minded and confident in their choices (Fallon, 2017). Besides, they should seek minimal approval of other parties or their specific emotions while making choices. The management of enterprises should take the upper-hand in ensuring that the employers can critically evaluate situations and come up with various measures for the benefit of the firm. In this, the workers have to be given the freedom to exercise a certain degree of independence to make their opinions count in the operations of the company.
How university students can develop the skill in their studies
Critical and creative thinking skill is a technique that university and college students need to develop as they grow since they will require the skill in their life in college and later in their workplaces. By learning the course, students are able to come up with solutions to their problems or even find a better way to deal with various issues that arise. Students gain numerous benefits through learning the course; hence, enabling them to analyze their specific thoughts and present evidence for their ideas. Besides, the course promotes good communication, self-reflective and analytical skills in the student. However, some students tend to get out of college without having fully mastered the skill (Morgan, 2017). The phenomenon has motivated me to highlight some of the key techniques that can be used to help the students in learning the course effectively.
Learners and instructors can take advantage of the advanced technology in mastering the crucial course. In this regard, the instructors can engage the students in online forums whereby the students can communicate with their peers and give feedback on various issues. As a result, the reviewer or the administrator of such a forum can analyze the content in each of the students and identify specific measures to help that particular learner. The instructor stipulates clear guidelines and rules for the students participating in the online forum to ensure that they do not lose focus and stay aligned with the goals of the discussion. An example of such a forum is the Canvas platform in Google whereby an instructor can allow the students to watch a video and ask them questions regarding that particular video (Mansbach, 2017). The learners should cite specific illustrations to support the arguments that they present in answering the questions that are asked by the interviewer.
Digital story-telling is another important tool that can be used to develop the critical and creative thinking skills in the young adults who are in school (Thomas, 2017). Through the activity, the students can use multimedia sources to present their stories. Such stories include documentation of events, personal narratives, and informative pieces. The learners can learn how to be self-reflective through the process since they internalize the stories and analyze the course content practically. Such narrations can be presented via digital platforms such as PowerPoint or Google Docs whereby the students provide illustrations and specific examples; hence, promoting their creativity and innovativeness.
Besides, critical and creative thinking can be developed in students through making them review each other’s’ work anonymously. Here, the students are able to demonstrate communication skills through the feedback they provide; hence, exposing them to varying perspectives regarding the topic of discussion. According to Liu E.Z and Yuan S.M article on web-based peer assessment, anonymity enables the students to give an honest opinion (Mansbach, 2017). Such a set-up enables the admin or the instructor to get the correct picture of the level of thinking in the learners.
Another tool which the students or instructors can use to instill the course in the young learners is providing enough time to the students to come up solutions to the questions that are presented. Patience is the virtual being culminated. Sometimes, rushed responses lead to wrong judgments which call for the students to learn how to internalize the problem at hand first before suggesting the remedy. In this regard, the students can be provided with a less structured learning environment which makes them explore their thinking capacity. Such environments can be created through promoting social-learning activities, for instance, small group activities whereby the learners interact with their peers and instructors freely.
As I conclude this article, I would like to point out that critical and creative thinking course is a skill that continues to be relevant throughout an individual’s life. Various issues emerge which call for rational thinking to solve them effectively. The course is very relevant in the working environment as discussed above. Unfortunately, some people do not get the skill well but this article can be beneficial to such people. Through it one can learn how to get the skill while in college or earlier in life; hence, promoting rational and open-minded thinking in these modern days.
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- Thomas, T. (2017). Developing First Year Students’ Critical Thinking Skills. [online] Research Gate. Available at: https://www.researchgate.net/publication/228462791_Developing_First_Year_Students%27_Critical_Thinking_Skills [Accessed 4 Dec. 2017].
- Mansbach, J. (2017). Using Technology To Develop Students’ Critical Thinking Skills – SPS | Distance Learning. [online] SPS | Distance Learning. Available at: https://dl.sps.northwestern.edu/blog/2015/09/using-technology-to-develop-students-critical-thinking-skills/ [Accessed 4 Dec. 2017].