Clear Thinking Is in Critical Condition

Article excerpt

A Midwest university professor complained: "We are now focusing more on how to use the tools of communication than we are on how to effectively communicate. ... As a result, we are turning out computer and Internet gurus who can't write and think creatively."

Is writing and thinking creatively important?

Is substance important?

Is critical thinking important?

You bet they are. Making your points to your boss or anyone else requires more than information. It demands the critical thinking that convinces them of your point of view.

I would venture as far as saying that technology has set us back in the general field of thinking, trusting gadgets to do some of our thinking rather than using them to enhance our lives.

Critical thinking has never been more important - or more challenging. With so much information bombarding us 24/7, sifting through the content to find factual, legitimate and useful material is no small task. Do you believe everything you read or hear? Do you check sources?

Thomas Edison, the genius of invention, had a way of thinking that was critical and creative. Fortunately, it isn't only a natural- born talent - it's a habit you can cultivate. Take some lessons from Edison's thinking processes as outlined by Michael Michalko in "Three Lessons in Creativity From Thomas Edison":

Question all assumptions. Examine and challenge conventional wisdom. When hiring an employee, it is rumored Edison would invite the person to join him for soup. The person wouldn't get the job if he salted the soup before tasting it.

Generate as many ideas as possible. …