As small business consulting experts, the professionals at Illumination Consulting recognize the importance of critical thinking. Every day, owners of small businesses make decisions that affect their offerings, their staff, and the future of their companies. By thinking critically, they make the best decisions. If this skill has eluded you until now, read on to learn how to become a critical thinker who identifies potential process flaws that could harm your organization.
When we think through problems, our thought processes are influenced by biases including assumptions and points of view. Each bias affects our ability to reason. If we allow our thought processes to be driven by biases and we do not focus on the “blind spots” that our logic contains, our decisions will be based on incomplete information and more likely to be less than optimal.
Envision critical thinking as an intervention into the natural thought process. It enables us to look for and identify problems in our thinking. When we practice critical thinking consistently, we think through our problems more effectively. This allows us to make the best decisions available, increasing the chance of success.
Begin by identifying the purpose attached to the decision or the goal that the decision is designed to achieve. For a skin care company that wants to grow, the purpose may involve selecting the market with the greatest opportunity for growth. The purpose or goal of a decision should be used as a starting point for the decision process. It should influence each step until the decision is made. Identify it, articulate it to staffers, and let it serve as a constant reminder.
It is easy to view a business issue or problem from a personal perspective and neglect considering how employees, customers, or prospects may see it. This singular point of view can result in wasted expense and offerings that are unsuccessful. Critical thinking illuminates assumptions and biases about the thoughts or behaviors of others. Articulating our viewpoints makes it easier to identify distortions in the thought process because our irrational thoughts are usually unconscious.
Every decision comes with consequences and by anticipating those, entrepreneurs can improve their decision making skills. Take different viewpoints when approaching a problem, considering how each stakeholder will feel and react in response to each alternative. Entrepreneurs who still find themselves making poor decisions should request help from a small business consulting firm such as Illumination Consulting.