This Article is About
controlled breathing
professional singer
setting goals
Critical Thinking
Join 1000's of Authors at StreetArticles Today!

Asking about Critical Thinking is a bit like discussing Active Listening or Controlled Breathing. Don’t we all do these things automatically? The answer of course is yes and no. Yes, we all breathe and listen and think. However we don’t all breathe with control like a professional singer, listen actively like a good counselor, nor think critically as we must to be successful in business and life.

First let’s be clear about what Critical Thinking is not. As odd as this seems at first, it’s not about being critical: not in the sense of critiquing a play, or piece of art, or even a politician. Here the word “critical” is to be understood as “important, serious, significant, crucial,” and even “analytical.” In contrast to the stream of conscious and unconscious thoughts that flow through our brain every waking and sleeping moment, Critical Thinking is focused, concentrated, and decisive. Critical Thinking is focused upon solving a problem, directing a course of action, organizing a project, developing a plan, fulfilling a purpose, succeeding in life, both personally and professionally. Critical Thinking may be done alone, in pairs, or in groups.

Critical Thinking usually includes, but is not limited to, developing a vision, clarifying mission, setting goals, identifying tasks, and surveying existing resources. Critical Thinking also often plans for future evaluation of progress, a means to adjust the plan, and a clear understanding of what success will look like.

All this sounds very serious. However, Critical Thinking can be very creative and even playful. Take for example the process of Brain Storming. Brain Storming was developed by NASA in the early days of the space program. It has become a vital part of many Critical Thinking sessions. The idea is to spit out as many ideas as possible without criticism! They can be wild and fanciful, even seemingly ridiculous. However, once the ideas flow to exhaustion Critical Thinking can really take off.

The obviously impossible, the morally unacceptable, and the otherwise undesirable options are set aside. Then what is left might just be the out of the box new idea that Critical Thinking can put to good use. Brain Storming can be applied at almost any point of the Critical Thinking process.

Sometimes Critical Thinking is not so playful. It may involve the time consuming and tedious work of gathering, quantifying, analyzing, and evaluating data. For example when developing a long range plan for traffic and roadways in a metropolitan area it might be important to know the specific data of current use. It would be important to be logical and thorough in determining where, when and how to get this information. It would also be important to consider availability of related resources and all levels of political influence.

While we have discussed Critical Thinking mostly in terms of business and government, it can also be important for individuals. When a young person is preparing for the future it is important that guidance counselors help them do some Critical Thinking about career choices, educational opportunities, finances etc.

There are a multitude of situations that call for Critical Thinking. We have only mentioned a few. Others might include sports, military maneuvers, wedding planning, and church planting. So the next time you breathe or listen remember to take time for Critical Thinking.

Dr. Geoffrey Schmitt has been a Critical Thinker for many years. He is particularly interested in Personality Type Theory.. His academic dissertation is Personality Type as a Road Map to Spirituality, and he has written an eBook, "How to Understand People" Check out his main website "The" He is available to churches and businesses for workshops and consultation.

Street Talk

Great article on critical thinking. Makes you think :)

  about 1 decade ago
You May Also Like
How To Meditate: 5 Tips For Getting Started With Meditating
We all want to live more peaceful lives, especially in modern-day life where things can get a little chaotic! One of the most effective practices for helping you find inner-peace is meditation. Learning meditation can have a really positive impact on your life which is why I want to discuss…
By: Ricky O' Shea in  Health and Fitness  >  Meditation   Aug 28, 2013  
  Likes: 0

Looking After Your Voice
Being a singer is a wonderful profession. It is a call. It is a mission. It is a lifestyle that lasts all in our lives. Nothing is more elevating than singing. However, not many people think of how hard a singer needs to work to be on stage and take…
By: Piroska Varga in  Arts and Entertainment  >  Music   Aug 16, 2013  
  Likes: 7

Your Formula For Business Success: Include These Four Top Leadership Skills
All businesses needs a leader, as well as every leader requires a clear and proven formula for achievement. Whether you've recently secured half a million dollars to finance a startup or are grooming successors in your family business, everyone and everything depends on your top leadership skills. Incorporate these four…
By: Kim Valerio in  Self Improvement  >  Leadership   Jun 18, 2015  
  Likes: 0

How You Can Develop Practical Leadership Skills
Leadership is a quality everyone claims to value, yet many find it difficult defining. If you would like develop into a better leader, you may not must count on expensive consultants that charge sizable fees. Many of the most valuable secrets to learning to be a better leader are quite…
By: Kim Valerio in  Self Improvement  >  Leadership   Jun 20, 2015  
  Likes: 0

Accept Personal Accountability – A Key to Great Leadership - Power For Everyone
The cultivation of an accountability-mindset represents an essential dimension of great leadership development. Even when it appears that a disappointing event was entirely beyond your control, look for how your actions led you into this situation. Looking for what you do to create what happens to you constitutes a self-imposed…
By: Bob Lancer in  Self Improvement  >  Leadership   Jan 10, 2012  
  Likes: 1

The Art Of Leading
A leader is a very broad term, it can be someone who inspires, who makes the big decisions or someone who comes up with a different idea to make his team better than they were before. A leader must be someone who shares the load rather than someone who burdens…
By: Imran1 in  Self Improvement  >  Leadership   Dec 16, 2013  
  Likes: 0

Leadership is In YOU
Monitor of the class, captain of the team and President of the country are leaders, parents, elder brother/sister, uncle, aunt and grandparents are leaders too. If you think about it every single human being is a leader of something,even a dog owner who leads his dog and a cab driver…
By: Tariq Bizanjo in  Self Improvement  >  Leadership   Aug 08, 2011  
  Likes: 1

What is Takes To Be A Leader - 3 Qualities Of Leadership
What makes a good leader? What leadership qualities do you look for? Who you would follow: Would they have to be someone you trust? Someone who has what it takes to get the job done? Someone with the tenacity to make the long haul, even in the face of opposition?…
By: Simon Crowe in  Self Improvement  >  Leadership   Apr 22, 2014  
  Likes: 0

5 Tips to Be A Good Leader
Entrepreneurial organizations look for strong leaders to take the business forward. A good leader is largely characterized by strong work ethics, honesty, excellent communication skills and a quality to inspire others. They are not only concerned with improving themselves but also support their colleagues and employees develop. If you want…
By: John Abelard in  Self Improvement  >  Leadership   Jan 02, 2014  
  Likes: 1

We Dont Need Self Impovment, We Need Self Leadership
I know that many people have always struggled with the idea of self-help. It always points to the fact that we aren't quite where we need to be, or that we are missing something in our potential to recieve the good we desire. Truly I think a more appropriate title…
By: keegan burkholder in  Self Improvement  >  Leadership   May 05, 2011  
  Likes: 1

What Is Leadership And Types Of Leadership
I want to discuss leadership with you. What is leadership? What different types of leadership are there? Which are the most effective methods of leadership? This is a topic that is often researched and there is generally a desire for improvement on the subject. So let’s start with ‘what is…
By: Ted Smith in  Self Improvement  >  Leadership   May 18, 2011  
  Likes: 0

Kingdom Leadership - Pt 1
Introduction Understanding Kingdom Leadership means we must first and foremost look at what a kingdom is, how it operates and our responsibility towards the Kingdom of God.In a kingdom the rules are made by the king who owns the kingdom. The people have no voice in making the rules they…
By: Gilbert Ken in  Self Improvement  >  Leadership   Nov 03, 2011  
  Likes: 2

5 Ways to Improve Your Public Speaking Skills
Does the mere thought of speaking on a public platform give you jitters? Even if you have good leadership qualities, lacking in the ability to be a good speaker can limit your growth as a well-rounded leader. It is essential to address a crowd of listeners in order to voice…
By: John Abelard in  Self Improvement  >  Leadership   Jan 03, 2014  
  Likes: 0

Some Reminders About Leadership
Many people like to state the different between being a manager and being a leader, and the "manager" side almost always loses. That's because many people are so tired of the typical image that goes with being a manager--controlling, a micromanager, out of touch, too interested in jumping on the…
By: Lynn Lopez in  Self Improvement  >  Leadership   Aug 26, 2012  
  Likes: 0

How to Determine Your Leadership Style
You have been working for years as an amiable employee for a highly established industry and now you are looking to assume command of running one yourself. However, it is imperative for you to know that leading an entire business requires an intense amount of experience, vigilance, patience and responsibility.…
By: Hannah4 in  Self Improvement  >  Leadership   Aug 27, 2015  
  Likes: 0

Article Views: 3320    Report this Article