I teach critical thinking skills to Undergraduate students. One of the concepts to this class is not only what we think but why we think the way we do. Of course our upbringing or enculturation has a great deal to do with the thought process. How we adapt and react based upon the environment and culture shapes our values. We then take those values into the world and apply them to all situations. There is one problem with this logic and that is that not all people were brought up with the same values and ethics.
Part of being a critical thinker involves taking the time to understand the differences in others. Why they think and act the way they do. We may not agree with these actions, but we can at least understand them. When we have understanding we can then take the next step to bridging gaps that could lead to conflict. So many of us put such great effort into pushing our ways onto others that we don’t realize there is another way. Of course, You have to stand for something, or you will fall for anything . But, in order to stand for something you need to research, understand and critically think about what it is you are standing for and why.
We follow great leaders, but why do we believe they are great? What is it about their thought process that resonates with us and allows us to want to take on their attributes and be a follower? In business there are many leaders at many different levels. You don’t have to have a fancy title to be a leader. What you need is to understand people and their thought processes. You need to help them to see the various views from various angles and not just your own or their own.
I enjoy seeing how my students evolve from the first day of class when I ask them who taught them to think to the final week of class where they have grown into critical thinkers who can determine for themselves what they believe to be truth.