Businesses today are looking for managers who are able to sort through problems systematically, rationally and creatively. They must not be afraid to evaluate all options or make tough decision. Today's business managers must be analytical in their thought process and able to support the decisions they make. In order to do this, managers need to possess critical thinking and decision-making skills. As noted in the article review from workshop one, leadership expertise and critical decision making skills are two essential competencies that will differentiate the business leaders of tomorrow (Helliwell, 2000, p.1). To possess these skills, we must understand what critical thinking and decision-making are; how they relate to one another; and what are the benefits of being a critical thinker. .
Authors M. Neil Browne and Stuart M. Keely (1998) state that critical thinking is analytical listening and reading. In other words it is reacting with systematic evaluation to what you have heard and/or read (p.2). According to the textbook authors, critical thinking involves a consciousness of interrelated significant questions and it involves the skill and eagerness to ask and answer the questions at the right time. In addition, it involves a yearning to aggressively use the critical questions. .
While critical thinking may be a systematic evaluation to what a person has heard or read and it involves the ability to ask and answers questions, I would like to take the definition a step further. Critical thinking must also have a purpose, prove a point or solve a problem. It also involves how you approach a problem, question or issue. Critical thinking demands a decision and must answer the question of "why?" I also believe that critical thinking should involve some form of self and business improvement. Without self or business improvement, critical thinking merely becomes an exercise in analysis.