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Topics: Communications Management, Talent Management, Teams
Critical Thinking
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One of the 4 Key Competences for the 21st Century is Critical Thinking.

What does critical thinking mean to you?

How can it be developed?

How important is critical thinking in project management?
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Hi Luis, whom are you referring to with 'the 4 key competencies'?

Think there are different views on the market about this. PMI research showed the importance of Leadership, emotional intelligence etc.
All of these have been important in the past, the priorities change though.

Critical thinking for me is a rational view on problem solving, exhibited e.g. thru design thinking, APS, Kepner-Tregoe, GROW etc. Think rationality and the importance of data for decision making is overrated. In the end most (all?) decisions are made by our guts and should include ethical judging.
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2 replies by Luis Branco
Dec 01, 2019 7:01 AM
Luis Branco
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Dear Thomas
Thank you for participating in this reflection and for your opinion.

Critical thinking as one of the key competences for the 21st century has been identified in several studies, including one by the European Commission.

In your opinion are critical thinking and rational intelligence similar?
Dec 05, 2019 5:59 AM
Luis Branco
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Dear Thomas:
Coincidences or not, you can read this article on the 4 Key 21st Century Skills

https://www.projectmanagement.com/articles...ject-Management
Network:3011



Dec 01, 2019 6:19 AM
Replying to Thomas Walenta
...
Hi Luis, whom are you referring to with 'the 4 key competencies'?

Think there are different views on the market about this. PMI research showed the importance of Leadership, emotional intelligence etc.
All of these have been important in the past, the priorities change though.

Critical thinking for me is a rational view on problem solving, exhibited e.g. thru design thinking, APS, Kepner-Tregoe, GROW etc. Think rationality and the importance of data for decision making is overrated. In the end most (all?) decisions are made by our guts and should include ethical judging.
Dear Thomas
Thank you for participating in this reflection and for your opinion.

Critical thinking as one of the key competences for the 21st century has been identified in several studies, including one by the European Commission.

In your opinion are critical thinking and rational intelligence similar?
Network:553



Interesting question Luis.

I like this definition of "Critical Thinking":

“ an intellectually disciplined process of actively and skillfully conceptualizing, applying, analyzing, synthesizing, and/or evaluating information that has been gathered from, or generated by, observation, experience, reflection, reasoning, or communication”

It's an essential and important skill for PMs to analyze all available facts objectively, with no judgements or biases (i.e. Open to everything and attached to nothing), and apply the knowledge/skills to solve the problems.

Here are some of the articles I liked on this subject:

https://www.pmi.org/learning/library/criti...complexity-5933

https://www.projex.com/critical-thinking-skills-project-managers/

https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/what-import...ng-skills-islam
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4 replies by Luis Branco
Dec 02, 2019 1:12 PM
Luis Branco
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Dear Sreepathi
Thank you for participating in this reflection, for your opinion and for the abundant amount of information shared.

I just glanced through the material you submitted

It seems very fruitful

I will read carefully and then give my opinion
Dec 07, 2019 10:40 AM
Luis Branco
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Dear Sreepathi

I just read the first link you shared:
"Agile critical thinking
how to cope with change, complexity, and the unexpected "

I recommend reading with particular reference to:
- "What is Agile Critical Thinking?"
- "Organizational Realities Work against Critical Thinking"
- "Agile Critical Thinking and Cross-Functional Project Teams"
- "When Critical Thinking Breaks Down"
- Tool: “Clarifying the Question”
- “Thoughtful Candor”

Thanks for sharing
Dec 08, 2019 5:28 AM
Luis Branco
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Dear Sreepathi

I just read the second link you shared:

https://www.projex.com/critical-thinking-skills-project-managers

I found the points I mention below very interesting:

1. The answers to the question:

"So what are the key activities, skills and attributes of a critical thinker?"

"- Analytical skills
- Tolerance
- Confidence
- Curiosity
- Truth seeking "

And the explanation of each of these attributes from the author's perspective

2. The relationship between critical thinking and the talent triangle

3. Critical Thinking Skills Definition

4. Critical Thinking - The 6 Basic Steps

5. Critical Thing Tools

Thanks for sharing
Dec 09, 2019 10:40 AM
Luis Branco
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Dear Sreepathi
I just read the content of the topic contained in the link:
https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/what-import...ng-skills-islam

Thanks for sharing

After reading these 3 links I reinforced my opinion that critical thinking is a key competency for the 21st century.
Network:2566



Luis,

I studied mathematics as a student but rarely applied it in my professional career. Nevertheless the thinking style of mathematics allowed my to become analytical, evidence driven, rational, creative, problem solving and open minded (taking on challenges). Add communicative to these and you have defined critical thinking.

It helped me well, but I am not sure it is one skill only, or needed by everyone more than e.g. emotional intelligence, empathy, influencing, decisiveness, being a team player or ethical decision making or courage.

To your specific question: yes, rationality and critical thinking are similar.
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1 reply by Luis Branco
Dec 09, 2019 2:23 PM
Luis Branco
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Dear Thomas
You wrote: "Nevertheless the thinking style of mathematics allowed my to become analytical, evidence driven, rational, creative, problem solving and open minded (taking on challenges)"

Given what you wrote is to use the brain to its fullest: rational and emotional
Network:1709



Luis -

I'd suggest that critical thinking is a critical attribute for successful PMs as we are dealing with uncertainty and complexity so the ability to break a problem (or project) down such that we improve clarity for stakeholders and are able to keep our heads when everyone around us is losing theirs is important.

I'd suggest that critical thinking goes hand-in-hand with another key competency: good judgment.

Kiron
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1 reply by Luis Branco
Dec 10, 2019 4:47 AM
Luis Branco
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Dear Kiron
Thank you for participating in this reflection and for your opinion.

I would love to hear your thoughts on:
- How can critical thinking be developed?
Network:482



To me Critical Thinking is to be able to objectively analyze and be able to weight out any issue before arriving at a decision. It is essentially applying available tools and techniques to understand the problem and arrive at a logical solution instead of using your "gut" feel to take decisions.
You develop this through academic knowledge and work experience including discussions with colleagues and professional contacts.
To me it is indispensable to Project Management since not all situations that a Project Manager will face can be taught. He has to leverage his knowledge and experience to apply them intelligently to the new problems. Crtitical Thinking will be a key driver on how effectively, past learning help tackle new problems, since you will have to intelligently align (modify/tweak) those learning to solve new problems.
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1 reply by Luis Branco
Dec 10, 2019 4:56 AM
Luis Branco
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Dear Pinaki
Thank you for participating in this reflection and for your opinion.

I found your perspective very interesting: "To me Critical Thinking is to be able to objectively analyze and to be able to weight out any issue before arriving at a decision"

I would like to know if, in your opinion:
- Can we develop critical thinking?
- What skills are important for critical thinking?
Network:107827



Critical thinking is about applying thinking techniques to the four language skills: speaking, writing, talking and listening. Of course, it is much more than just a set of intellectual tools. It is about your personal transformation and how you impact your life and the life of the people around you.
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1 reply by Luis Branco
Dec 10, 2019 5:25 AM
Luis Branco
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Dear Stéphane
Thank you for participating in this reflection and for your opinion.

I found your perspective very interesting: "It is about your personal transformation and how you impact your life and the life of the people around you."

I would like to know if, in your opinion:
- Can we develop critical thinking?
- What skills are important for critical thinking?
Network:1083



For me, critical thinking skills are skills that will make you a better PM and it is definitely a must-have. I also believe that critical thinking skills are something that not everybody is adapt to in the same way. Much like numbers, somebody with a natural aptitude would typically at the top end of a good CA. But we can all learn, improve and use these skills. And we should without a doubt.
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1 reply by Luis Branco
Dec 10, 2019 5:29 AM
Luis Branco
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Dear Anton
Thank you for participating in this reflection and for your opinion.
I found your perspective very interesting: "But we can all learn, improve and use these skills. And we should without a doubt"

I would like to know if, in your opinion:
- How can we develop critical thinking?
- What skills are important for critical thinking?
Network:11



Critical thinking goes hand in hand with a strategic thinking or management. The skill can be developed by adopting a habit of analyzing each and every situation and applying lessons learned before arriving to a conclusion. It might call for a thorough research on the subject in view.
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1 reply by Luis Branco
Dec 10, 2019 6:14 AM
Luis Branco
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Dear Dumisani
Thank you for participating in this reflection and for your opinion.
I found your perspective very interesting: "The skill can be developed by adopting a habit of analyzing each and every situation and applying lessons learned before arriving to a conclusion."

I would like to know if, in your opinion:
- What skills are important for critical thinking?
Network:2566



https://www.ted.com/talks/samantha_agoos_5...inking#t-255959
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1 reply by Luis Branco
Dec 02, 2019 1:00 PM
Luis Branco
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Dear Thomas
Thanks for sharing 5 tips for developing critical thinking:
- Formulate the question
- Gather your information
- Apply the information
- Consider the implications
- Explore other points of view

Very useful, no doubt

If we apply them systematically we will be developing our critical thinking
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