Dr. Jason’s Speak Life™ Newsletter – Volume 8 Issue 1
Inside This Issue
• The Importance of Critical Thinking
• Message from the President
• Consulting Focus: Career Management
• Industry Perspectives
The Importance of Critical Thinking
Critical thinking is identifying and evaluating evidence to guide decision-making. It is a disciplined thought process that is clear, rational, open-minded, and informed by evidence. Critical thinking causes a person to ask questions and to analyze information. Critical thinkers are open to new ideas and perspectives. They are willing to challenge their beliefs and investigate competing evidence. A critical thinker uses in-depth analysis of evidence to make decisions and communicate beliefs clearly and accurately.
Critical thinking is important because much of our thinking is distorted, biased or uninformed, on its own. Often, emotion rather than reason guides our thoughts. The process of critical thinking involves carefully acquiring and interpreting information and using it to reach a well-justified conclusion.
According to author and professor, Daniel Kurland, some of the skills required for critical thinking are:
Critical thinking is a skill that is in high demand among organizations seeking quality team members. Many employers view having critical thinking skills as more important than subject knowledge in an area. The earlier one develops critical think skills, the more productive he or she can be in the future. Critical thinkers tend to be better prepared for the challenges of the modern work environment.
Critical thinking is the best way to solve problems since it requires looking at an issue from several viewpoints before reaching a final conclusion. This skill separates innovators from followers. It can neutralize the influence of an unsupported argument. The results are increased creativity, performance and literacy.
Critical thinkers must consider the contexts of every situation and think on multiple levels in order to come to objective conclusions. For your organization to be successful, leadership must create an atmosphere that encourages and rewards critical thinking.
Message from the President
“As individuals and organizations, we should be setting clear goals for the future.”
A new year is a time for new beginnings. It can also be a time to reflect on the lessons learned from the previous year. Many people set goals and make resolutions during this time, with the expectation of achieving them at some point during the coming year. Businesses and organizations also set goals and milestones. Financial budgets and product road maps are created to help measure progress along the way.
As individuals and as organizations, we should be setting clear goals for the future. Take the necessary time to plot out a course of action for the outcomes you desire to achieve. Careful planning and strategizing can help facilitate the realization of your goals. It is common to encounter setbacks along the way, but we must do everything in our power to keep moving forward. Stay focused on the target ahead of you. Make 2015 the best year yet for your organization, your team and yourself!
Consulting Focus: Career Management
Career management is the process of taking control of ones professional career path. When done properly, career management helps to ensure long-term career success by aligning current actions with future goals. Identifying goals is a key element of this process. The earlier the goals are identified, the easier it becomes to plan for future success. After goals are established, a plan should be put in place to accomplish those goals.
A successful career requires taking ownership of decisions necessary to achieve it. Years of outsourcing, restructuring and downsizing have caused employees to take a more active role in managing their careers. Career management can help answer the question, “Where do I go from here?”
Career management is an ongoing process that requires making adjustments along the way. As life changes, so will your goals and strategies to obtain those goals. Adaptability and learning are key factors. One must be able to adapt to career changes to avoid pitfalls along the way. In order to remain prepared and satisfied over time, it is important to establish the habit of an annual career checkup as part of a career management plan.
The process also requires active participation. Taking ownership of career choices means not relying on others to make those critical career decisions. Although organizational career management seeks to help employees reach their individual career goals, the onus is on the employee to drive his or her own development. Ultimately, the key benefits of successful career management are increased productivity and engagement.
Digital technologies have changed the way organizations do business. The Internet has made the world seem smaller. Information is more accessible and travels much more quickly. These facts have created a new demand for consulting or advisory services. Sales, marketing, information systems and logistics are all impacted by technology. Consultants are able to advise organizations in these key areas. An effective consultant will be proficient with the following skills: communication, technical language and business management. He or she will provide recommendations on navigating the rapidly changing technology waters and help clients implement technology as a tool for achieving strategic business objectives. This helps clients make the most out of the opportunities that technology brings.