University of Phoenix
February 19, 2010
Critical thinking is the process in which managers, supervisors and leaders use to make rational decisions while minimizing a certain amount of risk. When given a task to accomplish, good leaders use their own skills while recognizing and utilizing other people’s skills helping one another to achieve the best outcome for their goal. Being able to recognize their own individual strengths and weaknesses, seeking out council from senior leaders or peers and “thinking outside the box” are valuable assets to have when applying critical thinking.
Applying Individual Critical Thinking
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By displaying confidence in everything they do, a positive leader will be able to influence subordinates to follow them and put leadership skills to use.
Using critical thinking does not come automatically though and can take time to develop. “Proficiency in critical thinking is integral to, and reflective of, a commitment to lifelong learning” (Paul & Elder, 2006, P.5). A good leader will continue to improve individual skills by constantly seeking education through seminars, workshops or even consultation by those who have more experience. Being a manager or leader within a certain job though will also contribute to the limitations of that individual’s skills. Being a mechanic, for example, I am in a sense limited with my skills and can mainly use them within the confines of the mechanic world. But by using my current thinking skills and expanding them, I’m confident I would be able to provide positive mentorship to soldiers. Mr. English states, “along with critical thinking, managers may need to polish persuasive skills to influence and convince others when decision-making is shared” (English, 2008, P. 4). A good leader may be faced with entering a group or team and may have to exercise or display more than just their thinking skills. A leader may also have to adjust the way duty and decision-making is conducted when entering another establishment because of the already established policies or standards. For instance, when I came to my current duty station I was surprised by the lack of discipline these soldiers had in comparison to my previous duty station. Speaking to other leaders though, I learned that this is the type of atmosphere they also encountered and it was best to adjust rather than fight....