On June 23, 2020, Dr. Jim White presented Part 7 of his Critical Thinking webinar series. Beginning with a review from last week’s episode, White reminded viewers that evaluating information, making assumptions, watching out for bias and asking clarifying questions are essential facets to the critical thinking process. Last week’s episode ended with an explanation of a SWOT analysis, or a critical thinking tool that allows individuals and business owners to identify strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats in any given venture, personal or professional. Dr. White recommended that viewers review past episodes, as each week is a building block for the 12 session Critical Thinking series.
Critical Thinking, Part VII.
This week, Dr. White took to the camera to drill down on the four benefits of critical thinking:
1. Being more persuasive
2. Better communication
3. Better problem solving
4. Increased emotional intelligence
Before he began his lecture, he took a moment to address a current issue affecting millions in the United States and the world- wearing a mask. Pointing out that wearing a mask is a small courtesy we can do to show care and respect for others and our communities. White warned that not following protocols to flatten the COVID curve will continue to eat at the economy. Adding that the current political climate continues to erode our values, White enthusiastically encouraged his viewers to vote before digging deeper into the four benefits:
Persuasiveness is the characteristic of being able to influence others. We usually think of politicians and salespeople when we think of persuasive people, but White explained that we should think of parents, teachers, spouses and other professionals as persuaders too.
We use the ability to persuade on a daily basis any time we want to have others accept our ideas. Critical thinking helps us become more persuasive because critical thinking is a deliberate or thoughtful process, and the more deliberate we are, the better we are at expressing our assumptions or ideas to persuade others.
White pointed out that there is over 4 trillion dollars lost in commerce as a result of poor communication. Critical thinking improves communication for some of the same reasons that it improves persuasion. The use of analogies or metaphors in language is an important persuasion tool and a general communication technique.
Critical thinking helps us to use language with more clarity. In his lecture, White detailed the 7 C’s of Communication that he shares with his staff and those close to him. Starting with “be clear”, Jim’s C’s of communication are: be concise, share a concrete message, utilize correct communication, coherent communication, and complete communication. White also suggests that your communication style be courteous.
Critical thinking and problem solving are certainly related, and closely intertwined. For logic problems, we need to use critical thinking skills. Critical thinkers use their problem solving skills, not just their intuitions to make decisions and draw conclusions.
- Fascinated by human behavior and how the brain works, White defined emotional intelligence as the ability to access and control the emotions of oneself. Dr. White described EI as being “heart smart” and connecting the heart to the head as opposed to just being book smart. Critical thinking helps increase emotional intelligence, and emotionally intelligent people know how and when to use their emotions.
Emotional intelligence in general consists of 4 abilities: self-awareness, self-management, social awareness, and relationship management.
Dr. White ended this week’s lecture with a quote from Albert Einstein, “we can’t solve problems by using the same kind of thinking we used when we created them.”
Join Dr. Jim White next week during Part 8 of his Critical Thinking webinar series, where he will tackle topics like changing your perspective, limitations of your point of view, considering other viewpoints, and influences on bias.