What is critical thinking? Critical thinking is the art of thinking about thinking while thinking in order to make thinking better. It involves three interwoven phases: it analyzes thinking, it evaluates thinking, it improves thinking (Paul and Elder, 2006). What does this mean? When using critical thinking, you are not simply thinking. It is taking a disciplined approach to analyzing, applying, and evaluating data that was observed, experienced, or communicated. When using this approach, you are basically using your own personal ideas and experiences in order to reason at the highest level in as much of a non-biased manner. To be successful in using critical thinking, you need to be able to be reasonable, rational, and empathetic. While doing these things, the critical thinker has to be able to completely clear their mind in order to make the best decision possible.
Not only is critical thinking used in everyday life, it is important in the corporate world as well. In the corporate setting, you have to be able to use critical thinking in order to make decisions that benefit your organization as well as the clientele base that you serve. These decisions that are being made sometimes have to be made quickly, but always need to be fair.
In one of my previous positions with my company, I used critical thinking daily in order to make sure decisions were made that helped the business as well as helped our clientele. In this position I served as a store manager for a wireless company. There were important decisions that needed to be made daily whether it was scheduling, meeting a customer demand, making sure the store was productive, and just making sure that the store stays in line with the company’s vision. Many times a lot of these decisions need to be made at the same time.
One instance stands out during my time as a Store Manager. During the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy, many stores in my area were tasked with processing inventory for stores that were affected by the storm. Once the inventory made it to our location, we were to process it and have it ready for another employee to pick up and take to other locations. These shipments were to make it to the store by 10am and be processed and ready to go by 12pm with no excuses. For the most part this would not be an issue. During this time, the directive was to give one of the representatives on the floor managerial duties and allow them to use their discretion.
There was one issue that occurred while I was processing the inventory and I heard a customer that was irate and yelling in the store about their service. There were many customers in the store that seemed to be bothered by this one customer complaining loudly about a previous purchase that he made. As the lead on the floor was trying to handle the customer, customers started leaving the store. Do I continue checking in the inventory and let the lead handle the situation? Or do I disobey the directive handed down from the Vice President of the market? While weighing out the decision, many things had to be taken into consideration. By staying in the back and processing inventory, I would have been able to get the inventory processed and ready to be transported to the other locations. By going out to the floor and taken care of the issue on the floor, I would be going against a direct order from the VP of the market that the inventory was to be taken care of, no excuses. Understanding that it was important to have the inventory for the other location taken care of, I had to also take in consideration the customers in my location and the impact this customer issue could have on my store. I decided to go against the directive and go out and