The ability to think critically is a skill that we wish to encourage in our children. In An Introduction to Critical Thinking and Creativity: Think More, Think Better, Joe Lau highlights 6 core elements that critical thinkers do. Critical thinkers:
- Understand the logical connections between ideas.
- Identify, construct, and evaluate arguments.
- Detect inconsistencies and common mistakes in reasoning.
- Solve problems systematically.
- Identify the relevance and importance of ideas.
- Reflect on the justification of one’s own beliefs and values.
These 6 elements can all be learnt, taught, trained, (insert your word of choice here). Simple question – how many L&D professionals create the environment where these skills and abilities can be created, honed, developed and practiced in the workplace?
I asked a question on Twitter:
Do we assume people in the workplace are able, and encouraged, to critically think?
The always excellent Sukh Pabial replied:
Very few roles require critical thinking capability. Most need problem solving and customer service attitude.
Isn’t it a little bit sad? What are we doing when we recruit people with the promise that they’re joining an open organisation where innovation is encouraged?
It feels like a role design issue – are we designing from behind competency frameworks and appraisal systems because it makes things easier to control?
What do you think? Are we encouraging critical thought in the workplace? Should we? If we are, how are L&D supporting it?
All comments gratefully received.