Teaching people how to think.


People make decisions every day. These decisions can be difficult, depending on different internal and external factors. These factors can quickly turn a normal task, into an abnormal task. Failure to make the right choice in key situations can lead to undesirable outcomes.

As leaders, we can’t be with our people 24/7. It’s impossible to train for every scenario. Instead of focusing on detailed and specific solutions, a broader approach needs to be taken. We have to teach people how to think.

We have to develop within our teams the specific skill of utilizing objective analysis in order to solve problems.

Read on for some ways that will help you teach people how to think.

Promote and support critical thinking within your team by;

Training people to recognize obstacles to success. – Many things will impede progress. People have to know what to look for and how to spot “red flags”.

Empowering employees at each level to stop work. – Ensure teams understand there is no penalty for stopping a project because something doesn’t seem right.

Establishing a culture where employees have clear ownership of themselves, their co-workers, the task at hand and the results.

Enabling accountability – The culture needs to be mature enough so that team members can hold each other accountable.

Encouraging quality over quantity. There is never a reason to rush. Leaders need to promote and support this idea, so that for high performing teams can operate effectively.

Providing easy access to valuable resources. – People will be more apt to stop a project and get the right “tool for the job”, if those tools are readily available.

Critical thinking requires intentional effort. It is a mindset.

If we show a person the answer to a problem, they’ll be able to solve that particular problem each time. If we teach people how to think about problems and how to approach them, they’ll have a chance to solve every kind of problem that exists.