1 Critical Thinking in the Workplace for City of Tallahassee Gabrielle K. Gabrielli, Ph.D.
2 Purpose The purpose of this training is to provide: Tools and information to help you become better critical thinkers inside and outside of the workplace
3 Ground Rules 1. Turn any cell phones to the off or silent position. 2. Be on time for class and from breaks. 3. Listen actively and be respectful; don t interrupt. 4. Participate to the fullest of your ability. 5. Keep an open mind. 6. If you break any rules, you sing.
4 What is Critical Thinking?
5 What is Critical Thinking? What is critical thinking? Negative thinking? Creative thinking? Problem solving? No No No
6 What is Critical Thinking? Negative thinking? - No Unlike negative thinking, critical thinking is positive, friendly, constructive, and productive.
7 What is Critical Thinking? Creative thinking? - No In contrast, critical thinking is about making a judgment rather than thinking imaginatively.
8 What is Critical Thinking? Problem solving? - No While critical thinking, like problem solving, requires evaluative steps, it does not seek to fix a problem or solve anything.
9 What is Critical Thinking? Critical thinking is focused on testing the validity of assumptions or beliefs by the application of a set of cognitive skills such as interpretation, analysis, evaluation, inference, explanation, and self-regulation. Critical thinking is reasonable, reflective thinking that is focused on deciding what to believe and do (Ellis 2001).
10 What is Critical Thinking? Critical thinking is that mode of thinking about any subject, content, or problem in which the thinker improves the quality of his or her thinking by skillfully taking charge of the structures inherent in thinking and imposing intellectual standards upon them (Paul 2001). Critical thinking is a skill that can be learned and used to evaluate arguments or reasons and the conclusions that follow them.
11 What is Critical Thinking? So what is critical thinking? Requires evaluative steps, but it does not seek to solve a problem Is about making a judgment rather than thinking imaginatively. Is positive, friendly, constructive, and productive.
12 What is Critical Thinking? Critical thinking requires making a judgment, and then verifying that judgment in a methodical way. To verify judgments, you must look for evidence.
13 Why is Critical Thinking Important? 2/3 of managers and hourly workers estimate that less than 50% of their collective brainpower was being used by the organizations for which they worked. Critical thinking was identified in research as one of the most important skills needed for job success, and one that is lacking in today s workforce. It was rated as the # 1 skill of increasing importance over the next 5 years.
15 What Constitutes Evidence? Evidence is objective information used to make and support a conclusion. It is not based on: Assumption: Focusing on past events to predict future events Perception: Focusing on how things appear rather than observing objectively Emotion: Focusing on how a situation makes you feel rather than the evidence
16 What Constitutes Evidence? Data Facts and statistics collected for analysis
17 What Constitutes Evidence? Facts The customer left the facility at 4:00p.m. The office had 200 visitors last month. This toilet was reported to be leaking in January. This facility upgraded its air conditioning system last month.
18 What Constitutes Evidence? Observation I can see water stains on the ceiling. The employee looks pale and weak. The evidence was collected and logged at 8:30am today. This restroom has not been serviced.
19 What Constitutes Evidence? Testimony He has made repeated angry calls. The bus ran over my foot. She went into cardiac arrest this morning. I saw a man vandalizing the facility.
20 Critical Thinking Exercise Let s take a look at some sample statements to determine which ones represent evidence-based critical thinking (fact) versus assumption.
21 Identifying Critical Thinking This report is probably a false alarm because the last one on this facility was. Fact or Assumption? Why? Assumption (Focusing on past events to predict future events)
22 Identifying Critical Thinking This woman wears shabby clothes so she is probably poor. Fact or Assumption? Why? Perception (Focusing on how things appear rather than the truth of a situation)
23 Identifying Critical Thinking This witness makes me uncomfortable so something is clearly wrong. Fact or Assumption? Why? Emotion (Focusing on how something makes you feel rather than the facts)
24 Identifying Critical Thinking This report mentions a leaking roof in the group home, so I need to verify that. Fact or Assumption? Why? Fact - critical thinking (objectively focusing on how to gather evidence to verify or refute a claim)
25 Identifying Critical Thinking The practice of critical thinking requires: Asking questions as a way to explore a problem or evaluate a claim or argument Having an attitude of curiosity that has no agenda, but seeks to find evidence of truth Using evidence-based reasoning to review a situation before making a conclusion
26 Reasoning Inductive reasoning - you make observations and then draw a conclusion based on those observations. This is a bottom-up approach to logic. Deductive reasoning - you make a conclusion and then determine if you have sufficient evidence to support the conclusion. This is a top-down approach.
27 Fallacy A fallacy is a deceptive, misleading, or false notion, belief, etc. Fallacies use mistaken reasoning. This means that a fallacy is partially built on facts, but it is not true. On page 5, please answer the exercise on identifying fallacies.
28 Critical Thinking Exercise The following combination of letters represents a sentence from which one particular vowel has been removed. If you can figure out what that vowel is and re-insert it eleven times, in eleven different places, you will be able to determine what the sentence is saying. VRYFINXMP LARXCDSW HATWXPCT
29 Critical Thinking Exercise Which letter does not belong? k m q w
30 Inductive Reasoning This critical thought process- evidence gathering that leads to a conclusion- is called inductive reasoning. Evidence supports the conclusion. Conclusion Review Analysis Evaluation Evidence
31 Deductive Reasoning Its opposite- deductive reasoning- posits a theory (or conclusion) and then looks for evidence to support it. This practice works well for testing a scientific hypothesis, but is not appropriate for your investigations. Conclusion (hypothesis) Evidence Evidence Evidence
32 Using Critical Thinking Critical thinking can guide the process of investigating. In essence, you are investigating the merits of a claim: Something bad happened at this time on this day.
33 8-Step Critical Thinking Process 1. Identify the issue. 2. Collect evidence. 3. Analyze evidence. 4. Evaluate evidence. 5. Use creativity. 6. Form initial conclusion. 7. Scrutinize the process. 8. Draw final conclusion.
34 Critical Thinking Step 1 - Identify Issue Step 1 - Identify the issue. What is the real issue? Who? What? When? Where? How?
35 Critical Thinking Step 2 - Collect Evidence Step 2 - Collect evidence. What evidence will I need to gather to investigate? Documents Research from reputable sources Interviews
36 Critical Thinking Step 3 - Analyze Evidence Step 3 - Analyze the evidence. What kinds of evidence is most relevant and reliable? Is the information reliable? Are my observations enough? What data might support or refute the claim? Are there any logical fallacies in the evidence? Remember to stay objective.
37 Critical Thinking Step 4 - Evaluate Evidence Step 4 - Evaluate the evidence. Evaluate the evidence. Do you have enough evidence to support a conclusion? What does the evidence suggest? Are there gaps in the evidence?
38 Critical Thinking Step 5 - Use Creativity Step 5 - Use your creativity. Consider alternatives and implications. Think creatively about alternatives. Challenge yourself to think outside of your assumptions.
39 Critical Thinking Step 6 - Form Initial Conclusion Step 6 - Form an initial conclusion. Draw initial conclusions. Consider implications. Consider advantages and disadvantages of your initial conclusion.
40 Critical Thinking Step 7 - Scrutinize Process Step 7 - Scrutinize the process. Scrutinize the process that led to your initial conclusion. Is there another way to explain the evidence? Is there adequate support from the evidence for your conclusion? Develop a devil s advocate approach.
41 Critical Thinking Step 8 - Draw Conclusion Step 8 - Draw a conclusion. Synthesize the facts to form a final conclusion. Based on all of the evidence you have, draw a conclusion. Objectively summarize the details. Determine any additional steps that must be taken.
42 Using Critical Thinking 8-Step Process While this process may seem lengthy at first, these 8 steps can become second nature. To help you remember, think of the process in stages.
43 Using Critical Thinking Remember that evidence is the basis of any conclusion. Critical thinking informs, guides, and directs the inquiry process. Conclusion Review Analysis Evaluation Evidence
44 Hyperboles Hyperboles are exaggerated statements or claims not meant to be taken literally. -I have a million things to do. -She is as skinny as a toothpick. -He's got tons of money. -You could have knocked me over with a feather. Can you think of a good hyperbole?
46 Importance of Creativity In a study of more than 1,500 CEOs from 60 countries and 33 industries, it was found that creativity is the most critical skill to help CEOs navigate our ever changing, complex world. Unfortunately, top executives often don t practice their creative skills enough to be successful in using them.
47 Blocks to Creative Thinking Looking for the right answer Logical, practical thinking Following rules Being too serious Avoiding ambiguity Saying you are not creative
48 Creativity Self-Assessment Answer the creativity self-assessment on page 3 of your handout.
49 Qualities of Creative Thinkers 1. Value ideas. 2. Explore options. 3. Embrace ambiguity. 4. Celebrate the offbeat. 5. Connect the unconnected. 6. Don t fear failure. Maxwell, How Successful People Think: Change Your Thinking, Change Your Life (2009)
50 Creativity Quotes The mind, once expanded to the dimensions of larger ideas, never returns to its original size. - Oliver Wendell Holmes
51 Creativity is essentially a lonely art. An even lonelier struggle. To some a blessing. To others a curse. It is in reality the ability to reach inside yourself and drag forth from your very soul an idea. ~Lou Dorfsman
52 See What Others Don t See
53 Exercise Your Brain
54 Exercise Your Brain
55 Cultivating Creativity in Times of Crisis Spend time with creative people. Look for the obvious. Practice mental agility. Dare to be different. See problems as opportunities. Maxwell, Cultivating Creativity in Times of Crisis (April 29, 2015)
56 Practicing Critical Thinking Some Daily Critical Thinking Exercises In your car, listen to radio commercials for logical fallacies or manipulative language: Smithfield peaches are the best in the South: more flavor, more fun, more peachy goodness.
57 Practicing Critical Thinking Some Daily Critical Thinking Exercises During political races, look for ways candidates try to get the verbal upper hand on their opponents. Everyone knows I m the best candidate.
58 Practicing Critical Thinking Some Daily Critical Thinking Exercises Review anything people have told you is fact for logical fallacies, misleading statements, or hints of falsehood.
59 Critical Thinking Use these suggestions to develop a plan to keep practicing your critical thinking skills. Add practice sessions to your schedule. Look for critical thinking examples in your daily life and make them part of your work strategies.
60 8-Step Critical Thinking Process 1. Identify the issue. 2. Collect evidence. 3. Analyze evidence. 4. Evaluate evidence. 5. Use creativity. 6. Form initial conclusion. 7. Scrutinize the process. 8. Draw final conclusion.
61 Using Critical Thinking Remember- evidence from inductive reasoning is the basis of any conclusion. Critical thinking informs, guides and directs the inquiry process. Conclusion Review Analysis Evaluation Evidence
62 Creativity Exercise Turn to page 6 of your handout to complete the creativity exercise. Connect all of the dots with four straight lines. Do NOT lift your pencil or pen off the paper. Do NOT retrace any line. Lines may cross if necessary.
64 Questions? Thank you! Don t forget to complete an evaluation to receive your certificate. You will also receive a follow-up with a link to the presentation, handouts, and other resources.
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