The HeadScratcher Post Archive
January 2008
Tips to Think Critically in 2008
   January 2008  The Headscratcher Post © Headscratchers LLC   Edition 33
Thinking Critically in 2008
Here’s a little critical thinking experiment to start the year.  What if you started 2008 with the skills and knowledge you have today, but without the memories of the past?   What new conclusions or decisions might you form if you didn’t have the memory that something failed before, or that it met opposition, or your existing bias? 

Almost all of your thinking is Inductive Reasoning.  Inductive Reasoning is the merging of your experiences, assumptions, values, beliefs, observations and facts to reach a conclusion or decision.  Therefore, your beliefs and experiences are part of the “logic” you use to problem solve.  If you ignore these experiences then your conclusions will change.

If you ignore the past, will history repeat itself?  The answer to this depends upon your ability to think differently.  If you use the same thinking, the same bias and belief, then history will likely repeat.  However, if you use another set, then you may create a different outcome.

A deep look at inductive reasoning takes more than a 1 page newsletter, but here are some tips to consider.

When you disagree with someone regarding a conclusion or decision, have a discussion about what assumptions everyone is making, and what beliefs are driving those assumptions.  Most likely, when people disagree it’s because their assumptions are different.

Write down your assumptions when thinking about a problem.  Now for each assumption ask yourself “What if this assumption was not true”?

List the reasons why you think you might not be able to accomplish something and then list out the assumptions and beliefs and experiences that cause you to think that way.   Consider each one of those as a little HeadScratcher that needs to be solved.  What can you do to minimize the affect that this issue will hinder you?

The Takeaway:   Since most of your thinking, your problem solving, your decision making is Inductive Reasoning, it follows that much of your reasoning is based on your exeriences, beliefs, and assumptions.   If you want to create new thinking you need a different set of beliefs and assumptions.
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