Monday, July 25, 2011

Critical Thinking

I recently took a course at Royal Roads University on critical thinking.  Critical thinking is the act of thinking critically and reflectively about a subject.  Wikipedia defines it as: "Critical thinking has been described as “reasonable reflective thinking focused on deciding what to believe or do.”[2] It has also been described as "thinking about thinking.""  I like to do this when I make big decisions, I do this through the rigor required in my Masters studies, I like this definition and see the value of more of it in our society.  For example making critical decisions on infrastructure, vehicles, housing, emissions control, neighbourhood design, energy infrastructure (coal, nuclear, solar, etc), forestry management, all environmental resource management for that matter, etc is valuable and necessary for us to minimize our impacts on the planet and hopefully maximize both human and ecosystem benefits.  

So why am I writing this post??  Well, I have a problem with critical thinking when it is simply being critical.  I feel like this in the workplace, when reviewing others work, or when asked for feedback or when asking for feedback on a project we jump at the opportunity to be critical.  Many times the conversation goes straight to critical "why we can't do something", rather than a team let's solve this mentality or here's how we "can do" this project... this wears on a person, its like constantly hitting a roadblock, a barrier, I didn't realize it until tonight it hit me.  I recently handed in a draft project for review, and I was afraid to check my email, I didn't want to find another critical message in my inbox... maybe I need to practice more critical thinking, maybe this is just a lot of fluff, but I am asking you to think critically, be constructive, and support your coworkers, friends and family in their pursuits as positively as you can muster, it may mean a lot to them, it probably does and the opposite can just get tiring.


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