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Critical Thinking Skills and Tools
for Decision Making


"The real voyage of discovery consists not in seeking new landscapes, but in having new eyes."  Marcel Proust

In an era of information-overload and short attention-spans, never has there been a greater need for critical thinking skills ... not a fill-in-the-blanks recipe, but a brain-friendly approach for distinguishing "signals" from "noise" in complex situations that often involve an array of interacting factors.

What contemporary decision makers need are critical thinking skills and tools that are robust enough to deal with the complex socio-technical challenges that are the norm in today's world ... or to borrow Proust's words, new eyes for seeing the landscape from a different perspective.

This training program fulfills these criteria, and more.  It provides managers, team leaders and other decision makers with practical skills and tools for applying critical thinking skills and tools to the decision making process. In other words, it provides a context for enhancing critical thinking, rather than critical thinking skills in general. It's foundation is rooted in the latest research on how the human brain receives and processes information when making complex decisions, often in high-pressure, time-constrained circumstances. But the course also provides important insights about the joint role that logic and intuition play in making tough decisions . . . and why this matters to you, whether you are a decision maker or a member of a decision-support team. 

Drawing on scenarios involving complex decisions, you will learn what to look for and how to counter a convoluted argument or fallacious proposition. You will also learn how to frame a proposition that you wish to support in logically-sound terms and language so that it may withstand scrutiny and possible criticism from others.

Individual and group exercises are used throughout the process to reinforce learning. The course can also be customized to incorporate actual job-related decisions, demonstrating how the critical thinking skills and tools covered in the course can be brought to bear on real-world decisions.

  Topical Outline  

  • Anatomy of a Rational Decision

  • The FAGRI Decision Model

  • How Experts Make Decisions and Process Information

  • Three Types of Decision Errors

  • Tools to Assist in Framing and Reframing Decisions

  • Thinking Errors and Mind Traps That Inhibit Critical Thinking

  • The Precision vs. Clarity Tradeoff and Why it Matters

  • Lessons Learned from Red Teams on Critical Thinking

  • Logical Errors, Weak Arguments, and False Conclusions

  • Gauging and Making Adjustments for Overconfidence

  • Uses and Abuses of Graphical and Quantitative Data

  • Recognizing and Avoiding Groupthink

  • Assessing Priorities and Value Tradeoffs

  • Scenarios & Skill-Building Exercises

  This course was designed and is instructed by the author of the book ...

The skills and tools covered in this course are applicable to executives, managers, and team leaders who are responsible for assessing information that will play a part in making decisions that have significant consequences.  It is intended not only to alter the manner in which decision makers think and reason, but also provide them with tools to leverage their intuitive thinking skills.  Furthermore, since complex decisions often involve a cast of characters, members of a decision-support team may also benefit from the program.

There are no specific knowledge-prerequisites other than an open mind; however the participants should come prepared to analyze, in retrospect, a recent job-related decision and to also apply the principles covered in the course to a decision they are currently involved in, or expect to be involved in. 

This is 1-day skill-building course that includes exercises and decision scenarios. 

Click on image for sample charts

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