All Articles Tagged "critical thinking"
To be a successful entrepreneur or businesswoman, it’s essential that you know how to think critically. You’ve got to learn how to be innovative and exceptional so that your ideas and ventures always make it to the forefront making the maximum impact with the maximum amount of income. It’s a skillset that can be a bit difficult to cultivate, but certainly not impossible. Inc.com shares four secrets to becoming one of those outstanding critical thinkers.
First, Inc.com instructs that you must slow down. This doesn’t mean take forever to make important decisions, but don’t unnecessarily rush to go with the first solution or idea that pops into your head. Take time to think of multiple meanings and angles before making a decision. Ask “how else might we define this problem? What is the core issue?” Once you begin to regularly make this assessment, you will see how a project or idea can change and be shaped differently and more efficiently.
Next, break away from the ordinary. The work world is constantly changing; old solutions to new problems will not always correct a situation. Think of new ways to challenge the old rules and assumptions in your field. This does not mean you should throw away every example and lesson from the past; you can still gain insight from them, but seek to find conventional wisdom’s blind spots and improve upon them.
Don’t be afraid to debate and to cause disagreement. Creativity is often birthed from argument—as long as the disagreement stems from conflicting ideas and not the people you’re working with. Find people that don’t agree with everything you have to say. Healthy discussions and debates in ideology can lead you to new levels of insight and thought processes. Make sure you keep the discussion on a clear professional focus and not on a personal level.
Lastly, Inc.com recommends you associate with eccentric individuals or mavericks. Find those people who think differently than everyone else. When you are a true critical thinker, you search for people who see the world in a different light and you try to understand why. Realizing their frame of thought may not necessarily change yours, but it will help you incorporate differences and ideals into your own business plans.
More on Madame Noire Business!
- Behind the Music: Top Black Women Music Industry Executives
- 6 Things That Should Not Be Distractions While At Work
- Entrepreneur Spotlight: A Sister-Run Business Brings High-End Tea Stateside
- Behind the Click: DeAnna Davidson, President and CEO of Tracen Technologies
- Your Hair Has A Role In Your Career Success
From the 9/11 Truthers to the grassy knoll theorists, proponents of alternative explanations of causation, otherwise known as conspiracy theories, are openly ridiculed and sidelined by the collective red, white, and blue colony. In a country which thumps its chest and proudly proclaims its adherence to the principles of liberty and freedom, this is a curious defect. Proving that although freedom may exist in theory or in meaningless choices such as Nike vs Adidas or Starbucks vs Dunkin Donuts, it is thoroughly lacking in the area of thought.
In our modern lives we only have access to tiny slivers of information. Where the government is concerned, that sliver becomes increasingly narrower as information is usually redacted for “security” reasons. All this begs the question; why do we follow the government’s or the corporation’s conclusions in lockstep given the massive amount of information that we just don’t know?
Even worse, we all fall in love and in line with the narrative we create using our ideas, and- inevitably – our actions follow our most dominant narratives. Many of us never challenge the narratives that we write to fit our own perspective. If we did, we’d find that one narrative is not necessarily any more or less true than any other. But where conspiracy theories are concerned, most people are eager to mock those who adopt an outlook which drastically diverges from the prevailing meaning ascribed by the national mob.
It follows that the marginalization of conspiracy theorists is the marginalization of ideas. Somewhere along the way in America we began to discount ideas which were out of line with the majority’s thinking. The same Republicans who don’t believe in hate crimes because they regulate and punish people for the thoughts behind their actions condescendingly lord themselves over the domain of relevant thought when they dismiss conspiracy theorists as loons and crazies.
But again, how can you know what’s true if you don’t know what’s false? Rightly or wrongly, many conspiracy theorists are among a narrowing group of critical thinkers.
Where conspiracy theorists diverge from ordinary thinkers is in their cognitive process; they look closely at what they don’t know and build a theory around that vast emptiness while more mainstream minds build theories around the little they do know. Conspiracy thinkers understand that what they don’t know can be more relevant, and more impactful, than what they do know. They listen to the silence. They hear what’s not being said. They are, in a word – skeptics.
And in this era of imaginary WMD’s, where handouts to the insurance companies masquerade as health care reform, skeptics are essential to the functioning of our democracy.
I would go even further to suggest that it would be a net positive if schools offered classes in conspiratorial thinking where students would be required to create as many scenarios as possible to explain how a particular event could’ve unfolded. The more flexible and nimble a mind, the better. Followers don’t grow up to become investigative reporters or creatives. To teach people to cling to sameness in the depth and variety of their ideas encourages complacency and recycles drone-like behavior.
Take for example Peter Schiff who, in the days, months, and years leading up to the current mortgage crisis and recession that followed, was sounding the alarm bell for anyone who’d listen. Schiff, President of Euro Pacific Capital, was ridiculed by market cheerleaders on FOX and CNBC as – you guessed it- a conspirator and a dangerously pessimistic thinker. They mocked him, asking him such inconsequential and condescending questions as “are you fun at parties?” or “do you carry blades to cut your own wrist?” Schiff turned out to be right. The peanut gallery was wrong.
Knowing that most people are wrong most of the time creates mental space for alternative theories. Going along to get along, or worse, shouting down those who do not share your sense that a dynamic universe produces a set of human events which are utterly predictable, shrinks human thought. And as evidenced by Peter Schiff, sometimes a small, quiet prediction grows into a big and dangerous truth. You’ll never notice the tipping point though if you’ve spent the vast majority of your time and intellectual energy jeering those whose charge it is to warn you.
Yvette Carnell is a former Capitol Hill Staffer turned political blogger. She currently publishes two blogs, Spatterblog.com and GoGirlGuide.com.