Everyone of us is guilty of it. You cannot deny it and it’s a problem that makes small issues into gigantic problems. It’s the monkey wrench that stops the production line. When it’s left out of a meeting, nothing is accomplished other than the need for another meeting and to waste more time.
What am I talking about? I am talking about the human BAD THOUGHT HABITS. What is that you’re probably asking right about now? It’s a practice that is ever more evident in the way office meetings are conducted. In the development of policies and procedures, interviewing, hiring, training, and it’s at the core of the breakdown of EFFECTIVE COMMUNICATION in the workplace, personal lives, and in our Nations Political System.
What is it? It’s the failure to understand how to conduct “CRITICAL THINKING.” Sitting at your desk, pulling your hair, pounding your head against the cubical wall is not critical thinking. That’s frustration and anger. Critical Thinking has a set of rules that must be followed it you wish to attain the success that comes from effectively utilizing it.
RULE #1: Don’t make or speak in Generalizations when you don’t have the evidence to back them up. 95% of the employees want to take three weeks off for Mardi gras? Are you sure or are you just making up a large number to try and impress us?
Rule #2: Don’t allow Stereotypes to influence your thinking or reasoning. Don’t play into any stereotypes. When you allow yourself to do this, your one step away from falling into the racist/sexist/homophobic/xenophobic trap. Do not assume, just because someone looks the part, is the part. Give everyone a chance to prove who they are or what they are doing before you judge them.
Rule #3: DO NOT FORM FALSE BLIEFS ABOUT ANYTHING. Over the past few years, our nation’s media has taken it upon themselves to push their agendas and beliefs on the people of this country. And many times they are proven wrong by educated and well informed people. The internet can post a false story saying that the Lockness Monster was sighted in the Pungent Sound and someone out there will believe it as the gospel. Check your facts before you recite the beliefs.
Rule #4: You tend to look at the world through one point of view. Last time I checked, we live on a sphere. There are 360 degrees of views. You can look down from a tall mountain; you can look up from the bottom of the ocean. You can sit on the curb of a busy city street and understand the view of a homeless person. You can hide in your home and only watch the world from your 60 inch screen TV... Do not limit your understanding of the world to one point of view. You’re only limiting yourself to half the truth and sometimes even less. The greatest military leaders in history did not read their own works, they read and studied those of their enemy. Not because they wanted to be like them, but because they wanted to understand how they saw things, so they could then overcome them in battle.
Rule #5: You ignore and or attack points of view that conflict or are not your own. You’re a Republican and you have been a Republican since your Daddy took you to vote for Ronald Reagan. Anyone who tries to speak anything other than the Grand Old Party is an idiot and knows nothing about politics or whats going on in the world around here, even that college educated liberals. I felt this way for many years until I became one of those educated liberal/progressives. I came to realize that It was horrible being a member of a free nation and being forced only to think one way. They call liberals socialists, but seem to me; thinking only one conservative way is actually more towards a communist dictatorship. Get past yourself and realize other opinions matter and may solve your problems in life, work, and the world.
Rule #6: Fabricate Illusions and myths that we subconsciously confuse with what is true and false. The media today is really guilty of this and so are certain right and left wing talk show hosts. Mainly on the right wing side, we are seeing the mud and downright malicious rumors and miss-information being put out there. Borderline terror tactics designed to scare people into falling in line and not thinking rationally. The same happens in the workplace. Businesses don't know if they should hire, fire, lay off, or just quit and go home. So much false information out there and how do you sort through it? Critical thinking and being honest with yourself, don't fall into the traps set up by over exploitation and false panics.
Rule #7: Think deceptively about many aspects of our experiences: Are we being truthful with ourselves about what we experienced or are we allowing our biases, prejudices, and EGO’s dictate how we felt about it?
What is most important about all of this is if you choose to fall into the practice and habit of not following these rules of Critical Thinking, you’re giving away your control, power, and giving into the lies and falsehoods being put out there.
Critical Thinking is about you understanding the truth about what is said. It’s about You understanding what you need to believe and what you know is a lie, not because someone told you it was, but because you have done your homework and now understand the facts.
Lets look at an example. The Gay Marriage Bill that was passed a year ago. Now a certain group of people with a conservative point of view would have us all to believe that passing this law was going to open the door to all forms of marriage. It has been a year now and I have not been invited to one marriage involving a goat or cow.