Comm Skills - Best Practices in Crit Thinking and Dec Making.doc

Comm Skills - Best Practices in Crit Thinking and Dec Making.doc

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Best Practices 1 Best Practices in Critical Thinking and Decision Making Andrea Lamkin University of Phoenix Communication Skills for Graduate Study COM505 Chad Millar October 11, 2008
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Best Practices in Critical Thinking and Decision Making “Between stimulus and response there is a space. In that space lies our freedom and power to choose our response. In those choices lie our growth and our happiness. (Covey, 2004, p. 42)” The information age has increased the speed at which we move and live. It has made the world more challenging for the average thinker than in years past. To keep up with the current rate of changes, individuals are being expected to think more clearly and more effectively in order to make better decisions in a timely manner. Critical thinking skills are required to achieve this goal. This paper will show how critical thinking skills are essential to developing better quality decisions. It will also show how Andrea Lamkin applied critical thinking and reasoning in her decision to return to school and the degree program she has chosen while keeping true to herself. Critical Thinking Skills and Quality Critical thinking is being aware of what factors the individual is applying towards the decision. The inputs can be in the form of information, assumptions, and biases (Egan, 2005). When applying critical thinking skills, the individual has to be aware of the unconscious and subconscious influences that contribute to the equation. This includes being aware of what is may not be included in the equation of making a decision. In the quote below, psychiatrist R.D. Laing notes that it is the information that is not known that can be even more important than what information is known:
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The range of what we think and do is limited by what we fail to notice. And because we fail to notice that we fail to notice, there is little we can do to change until we notice how failing to notice shapes our thoughts and deeds (Laing, n.d.). Critical thinking skills provide a true perspective of an individual’s actual knowledge. This knowledge can show the individual where the gaps in their information knowledge base are for the decision that is needed. Knowing what is unknown can give the individual incentive to take the time to gather more information before making the decision if the individual choose to acknowledge the lack of knowledge. This action requires that the individual becomes aware objectively of their own thoughts. This activity provides balance in the decision making process.
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