2. Table Of Content
• Background- Who is a manager ?
• Background- 10 skills of a good manager
• What is Critical thinking?
• Purpose of critical thinking
• Features of critical thinking
• Levels of thinking
• Decisions based on critical thinking
• Core areas of critical thinking
• Comments and questions
3. • Background- Who is a manager ?
A manager or supervisor is someone who oversees a project and/or one or more members of staff.
Managers are responsible for getting the job done and motivating people, whilst overcoming
business problems or issues.
A manager is a person empowered with authority to direct, organise, coordinate and control other
people in a bid to achieve given objective.
4. • Background- 10 skills of a good manager
Forward planning and strategy
Communication and relationship building
Coordination and Control
5. • Introduction
As professionals we are faced with various business problems as we grow in our professional career. In addition to proffering
solutions to our own challenges we have responsibility to solve problems for our subordinates.
These problems or challenges require ‘thinking within and outside the box’. At that point our skills will be activated decisions will
The decisions include prioritising, allocation, go ahead or ignore, deal or not deal, etc
I SEE ANALAYSIS AND INTERPRETATION
6. • Critical thinking…?
Critical thinking is essential in the workplace, particularly for employees in the management or
leadership role. This is because their decisions can affect an individual employee, a department or the
According to Linda Elder, Critical thinking is self guided, self disciplined thinking which attempts to reason
at the highest level of quality in a fair-minded way.
Critical thinking is a characteristic any employer would be lucky to have in all of its employee.
7. • Purpose of critical thinking
2. The Skill of Business Acumen-and Then Some
2Translate abstract ideas into tangible result
Evaluate ideas objectively
Solve problems more effectively
Make dramatically better decisions
8. • Features of critical thinking
2. The Skill of Business Acumen-and Then Some
2. The Skill of Business Acumen-and Then Some
Critical thinking involves
Rationality: seeing other view points with clarity,
Objectivity: challenging assumptions,
Intelligence: ask the right questions,
Results: imagine the how of achieving result
As managers or leaders we face challenges in our bid to solve business related problems e.g maximising
sales, allocation of pool cars, delegation of authority, allocation of duties, prioritising of responsibilities, etc.
9. • Levels of thinking
High level: Gathering of data (facts and figures) and use of computers or application software for analysis
towards decision making; these involve critical thinking. Professionals in these category usually prefer
research for answers to problems that are quite unusual. They conduct repeated findings until a solution
Medium level: Observation of current trends towards decision making; these involves smart thinking.
People in these category look for alternative means to providing solutions. They would rather revisit the
Low level: Guessing or gut feeling to make decisions; these involve shallow thinking. People in this case
usually have ready made answers like ‘I don’t know’ , ‘no idea’. They tend to hide the problems from
11. • Decisions based on critical thinking
Human resources: Decision whether to suspend or terminate an employee alleged to have engaged in
sexual harassment must be based on critical thinking. Also there would be need to consider the effect of
final decision on the employee as well as those he manages.
Customer service: The customer service officers frequently engage in conflict resolution. Example is a
credit company with focus on good customer service which decides to waive penalty for a customer who
missed repayment for the first time in 20 repayments. Such decision will have been based on the
repayment history of the customer as this would mean being rational and having empathy for the
Marketing & Sales: Sales and marketing employees utilises their critical thinking skills in making
decisions related to public perception of the company and the company’s product and services. For
example an advert of a product (eg Target savings) that appeals predominantly to a male gender whereas
the product could be harnessed by both genders. The employees of this unit must use critical thinking
skills to examine their branding concept from a perspective that eliminates gender in advertising product
features. From the critical thinking perspective, (the higher than market) interest rates could be a better
focus for advertisement.
12. • Core areas of critical thinking
Below are actionable critical thinking skills as given by Grant Tilus from the work of
Dr Peter A Facione.
These skills as so important to business activities that they need to be mastered
I S E E Analysis and Interpretation
20 10 15 15 20 20
Self regulation 10%
13. • Core areas of critical thinking
Skill #1: Interpretation
What it Means: Having the ability to understand the information you are being presented with and being
able to communicate the meaning of that information to others.
Throughout your career you will be presented with a variety of information in many different types of
situations. Imagine you are looking at demographic information, hoping to target a different group of
customers for a new product. Interpretation skills will enable you to better decode the information and
add clarity to what you have discovered - which in turn will help you better understand any potential
new customer opportunities for your company.
Skill #2: Analysis
What it Means: Having the ability to connect pieces of information together in order to determine what
the intended meaning of the information was meant to represent.
Imagine you are reading a companywide memo that is discussing making changes in order to address
recent movement within the business landscape. Having this skill will better provide you with the ability
to “read between the lines” and help you understand how this will impact the overall strategy you have
in your position.
14. • Core areas of critical thinking
Skill #3: Inference
What it Means: Having the ability to understand and recognize what elements you will need in order to
determine an accurate conclusion or hypothesis from the information you have at your disposal.
Picture yourself as a business manager; you are looking at the latest sales forecast and you see sales have
decreased. It’s important for you to be able to understand what additional information you may need in
order to determine why that happened, including identifying internal issues, external competition or
even economic conditions. The ability to understand the information you already have and determine
what you may still need to find the best solution is an important skill for you to have no matter what
career field you are in.
Skill #4: Evaluation
What it Means: Being able to evaluate the credibility of statements or descriptions of a person’s
experience, judgment or opinion in order to measure the validity of the information being presented.
Imagine you are leading a focus group at work to determine how your customers view the organization’s
products. You ask the group a few questions that uncover several negative opinions about certain items
you sell. You will need to use this skill to evaluate those responses, so you can determine if the
information you received is valid and whether or not it needs to be further looked into.
15. • Core areas of critical thinking
Skill #5: Explanation
What it Means: Having the ability to not only restate information, but add clarity and perspective to the
information, so it can be fully understood by anyone you are sharing it with.
Imagine you are giving two presentations for new product ideas; one to the CEO of the company, and the
other to product engineers. You know both groups are extremely interested in hearing what you have to
say, but you will need to be able to explain these ideas in two very different ways. The CEO may only need
to hear high level ideas about the products while the engineers will need more specific product details.
Your ability to clearly explain your ideas while keeping in mind who you are presenting to is important for
making sure the information is understood and well received.
Skill #6: Self-Regulation
What it Means: Having the awareness of your own thinking abilities and the elements that you are using
to find results.
Imagine you are on the phone with a customer attempting to work through a problem they are having
with your company’s software, and it’s your first week on the job. The problem they are having is
complex, and yet, you still want to assist them in order to make a good impression at work. Your ability
to understand that perhaps transferring them to a coworker with more knowledge on the subject is the
best way to provide the customer with a positive result.
You may be able to delegate but you won’t be able to delegate all at once unless you aim to absolve
yourself of your role as a manager. Critical thinking facilitates managerial efficiency.
To have good critical thinking skills, it takes a long term journey. Skills are learned and practice over
time brings out the best in you.
I encourage us all to improve on our critical thinking skills bearing in mind that it will have impact on
both our personal life and professional career.