Critical Thinking for Better Judgment and Decision-Making

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The last few weeks have been pretty risky for me, work-wise.  Not “lose your job” risky but still…

To put it another way, I’m stepping up to the plate and taking a huge swing.  Either the ball is going out of the park or I miss the ball completely with a great big whiff.  Allow me to explain:

I was given the ownership of a face-to-face meeting involving plant managers and other key people traveling in from across North America.  Traditionally, this meeting had involved upwards of fifty people and was largely a report out on milestones and metrics.  While these report-outs are necessary, I began to wonder if it was the most valuable way to spend our time together.

Another challenge was the key decision-maker being out of the country on holiday during the critical time when decisions were needed on format, speakers, facilitators, logistics, etc. Would it be worth the risk, if, when the decision-maker came back, we had deviated from the regular format to focus on topics the group wanted to talk about and ideate on, making this more of a leadership development opportunity and less of a report out?  How could we possibly know?

A key factor in thinking through this was the utilization of the impacts thinking tool (one of the over 50 thinking tools created by Vignettes Learning), examining the efficiency, savings, and value of modifying this event by considering the impact(s) on the attendees and the ripple effects this gathering (and its subsequent learnings) would have on their direct reports and beyond. 

Critical thinking is a vital skill we (need to) use all the time!  If we aren’t making decisions based on some sort of criteria, we might as well flip a coin, letting fate decide our actions.  To help ensure your decision-making is sound and actionable, sign up for our Critical Thinking for Modern Learners Online Certificate Workshop.  In this workshop, you’ll learn how to help learners and workers solve problems and create solutions.  This isn’t about pushing more content.  No, it’s about prepping people with the tools and skills they need to make decisions in real-time that lead to high-value outcomes. 

So what happened?  Did I stick with the relative safety of what we’d done in the past or take a risk to try something new?  In the end, I took the risk.  It required a lot of planning and communication, but the event was a hit; so much so that it will likely become the new normal for how we approach this specific meeting in the future.   Critical thinking for the win!


Jonathan Workman

Ray Jimenez, PhD
Vignettes Learning
“Helping Learners Learn Their Way”

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2. Microlearning for Disruptive Results
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4. The Masterful Virtual Trainer Online Workshop
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