Critical thinking can therefore be described as a process of carefully making sensible/logical decisions after carefully considering the good and bad ululates of an issue with accuracy and precision. The thinking process comprises of two main activities which one gathering or collecting data/information and drawing conclusions based on data/information collected. A good thinker can be identified by the way and manner data collected is evaluated and conclusion drawn.
A critical thinker will collect information, evaluates information, draw conclusions using logic and finally evaluates logical conclusions (panning- for – gold style of thinking), while one who does not think critically will only collect information and draw conclusions without logic (the sponge approach) Browne ND Kelly (2013) examines the relationship between the right questions and drawing logical conclusions. They defined Critical thinking as being aware of questions that are connected and having the desire and required skill to actually ask and answer these critical questions in a suitable way.
In order to arrive at a logical conclusion, this paper will apply Asking the Right questions which will give one an initial sense of the required skills to carefully analyze issues that have been highlighted in the memo initiated by Mr.. Arid Ravish (Vice-President of Human Resources) and addressed to Ms. Cynthia Castle (CEO, CHEM.) in respect of the proposal requesting Classified Holding Company of Masques (CHEM.) to invest $100,000 yearly on leadership development program to prepare junior financial executives for future leadership roles in the organization. Question 1: What are the issue and the conclusion? A) An issue is an important topic that people are discussing and arguing about. It forms the basis for discussion. (b) A conclusion or the message that the speaker or writer wishes you to accept The memo by Mr. Ravish, UP, HER is as a result of the proposal submitted by Ms. Forsyth, Director of operations questing that CHEM. should send 20 junior financial executives off site yearly for a Leadership development program to be offered by the Aspen Leadership Institute of Colorado at a cost of $5,000 per participant and totaling $100,000 per year which is equivalent to the same amount of lost time on the job.
Mr.. Ravish has concluded that the Company should not invest in leadership development program for the junior financial executives. Question 2: What are the Reasons? Reasons are explanations or rationales for why we should believe a particular conclusion. The reasons for Mr.. Ravioli’s conclusion are listed below: i. CHEM. has never invested in Leadership Development program for employees since it began business 50 years ago. Ii. That the success and effectiveness of the organization over the years has proven that leaders are born and not made. Ii. He cited findings sourced from Journal of Applied Psychology and Leadership Quarterly which gave examples of leaders who possess common personality qualities. Iv. He supported his claim that all good leaders are usually tall physical in stature with a table which shows the height of former presidents of the United States. He thereafter linked this to the heights the senior Executives of the Company excluding Ms. Florence Forsyth v. Mr.. Ravish also insinuated that the real intention behind Ms.
Forsythia’s push for training is not really clear and could mean a number of things. Vi. That once the Company agrees to this initial request for leadership development training, many request for expensive training that the company cannot afford will come up. Vii. Mr.. Ravish is convinced that the approval of the leadership development training will reduce recruitment cost and so propose that the company recruit people with leadership traits instead of developing those who are not. Question 3: What Words or Phrases are Ambiguous?
Refers to the state of having more than one possible meanings for a word or phrase. According to Browne and Kelly (2013) states that language is highly complex and if each word had only one potential meaning about which we all agreed, effective communication would be more likely. However, most words have more than one meaning. Many ambiguous words and phrases such as prosperous, success and effective were discovered in this memo. From Mr.. Ravioli’s perspective, his company’s growth at 12% per annum is termed successful and prosperous.
What are the leaders effective at doing? Do the junior financial executives they are refusing to train agree with the use of this word? What is effectiveness without motivation? Other ambiguous words and phrases discovered are personal gain, bleeding-heart liberal intentions, liberal motion, expensive training. When one applies more than one meaning to these terms, the reasoning that would naturally support Mr.. Ravioli’s conclusion will change. Question 4: What are the Value and Descriptive Assumptions? Values are the unstated ideas that people see as worthwhile.
They provide standards of conduct by which we measure the quality of human behavior. The value assumption by the writer is that the Company will be wasting money by sending the wrong people to leadership training when they already have effective and successful. Other assumptions are: The fact that leadership has been successful and effective over the years shows that leadership qualities are inborn and not acquired. That a tall physical stature indicates a potential leader and is proven by the heights of all the senior executives of the company excluding Ms.
Florence Forsyth the front runner of leadership development training. Here he assumes Ms. Forsythia’s height probably influenced her actions s a leader. Even though Mr.. Ravish cannot pinpoint the actual reason behind Ms. Forsythia’s quest for the training, he assumed that Ms. Forsyth has a hidden agenda as to the reasons behind the training proposal. Firstly, that she may be planning to covet his position as UP, HER. Secondly, that she may be motivated by the liberal notion that all citizens of a free nation have the right to pursue education and achieve anything that they desire.
The descriptive assumption found in this memo and related to the writer’s conclusion is that Leadership development program has never been practiced by the company ND therefore unnecessary. He argued that the organization has continuously been successful since inception growing at 12% annually without the help of such leadership development training program hence, it is only logical not to invest in it now. Question 5: Are there any fallacies in the Reasoning? A fallacy is a false idea that many people believe is true.
A reasoning “trick” an author uses in order to persuade the reader to accept a conclusion. According to Browne and Kelly (Eight Edition) there are three common tricks that can trick a reader through either a mistake in logic or other forms of deceptive reasoning which are providing reasoning that requires erroneous or incorrect assumptions, distracting the reader by making information seem relevant to the conclusion when it is not and providing support for the conclusion that depends on the conclusion’s already being true (p. 4). Mr.. Ravish exhibited Red Herring Fallacy by relating height to leadership which in reality cannot be considered as one of the qualities of a good leader neither is it related to taking decision or the training of junior financial officers. He exhibited Glittering Generality Fallacy thereby diverting the reader to political issues by accusing Ms. Forsyth of being n extreme liberal. Straw Person Fallacy was evident because the author tried to distort point of view which truly does not exist.
The author hastily concluded that a tall physical structure is a common trait of all successful and efficient leaders thereby exhibiting Hasty Generalization. Slipping Slope fallacy was obvious as he concluded that the approval of leadership development training will not develop leaders but rather lead to reduction in recruitment costs and numerous requests for expensive training that the company cannot afford. Including a table which shows past leaders of the United States of America and heir heights hoping to convince readers reflected Appeal to Popularity (Ad populous.
By deliberately attacking Ms. Forsyth claiming she intentionally set out to discredit him and that the proposal for training was in pursuance of her personal interest/gain and also to push the theories of Aspen Institute showed Ad Hominid. The Either-Or (or False Dilemma) was also evident in this memo because Mr.. Ravish did not make recommendations to replace Ms. Forsythia’s proposal. Question 6: How good is the evidence?
Intuition, Personal experience, case examples, Testimonials and Appeals to Authority Evidence s explicit information shared by the communicator that is used to back up or to justify the dependability of a practical claim. The facts regarding the annual growth rate of CHEM. over years over 50 years is good but the statement regarding the height of all the senior executives compared to Ms. Forsyth was biased as it implies that she initiated the proposal because she does not possess personality trait (tall physique) of successful leaders. The evidence of physical traits is not good evidence Question 7: How good is the evidence?
Personal observation, Research Studies and Analogies The evidences can be termed as unrelated to the issue while the Wisped website source have been agreed not to be most reliable in sourcing for data/information. Question 8: Are there Rival Causes? A rival cause is a plausible alternative explanation that can explain why a certain outcome occurred. Taking into cognizance reasons given by the author of the memo, a critical thinker in the process of evaluation tend to ask what other interpretation will be correct if the one presented is incorrect.
Firstly, while the author implies that Ms. Forsyth as inefficient leader based on her height, others will believe that even though short, she may mean well and genuinely ants to develop junior executives to prepare them for taking over executive positions and to maximize the achievement of organizational goals. Secondly, Mr.. Ravish and the other eleven senior executives may be seen as insecure. Question 9: Are the statistics deceptive? Statistics are evidence expressed as numbers. In this memo, the growth rate of CHEM. yearly over 50 years was quoted as 12% by Mr..
Ravish. However, he did not disclose if the growth described as average is derived from the mean, median or mode. Also, the writer did not specify what kind of growth he was referring to; hence, the statistics can be misleading. Question 10 10) What significant information is omitted? Information that would affect whether one should be influenced by a writer’s argument that is information that shapes reasoning. In this memo, Mr.. Ravish omitted a lot of information that can help form a readers opinion on the issue such as how long he has been in the company’s employment?
Has there ever been any disagreement between him and Ms. Forsyth to warrant such attacks on her person in his memo? Statistics did not show the sex of the senior executives, if there is there has been mentoring or coaching the junior executives in the past as against formal training. Details of Mr.. Ravioli’s educational background before taking up appointment at CHEM. were omitted, Ms. Forsythia’s reasons for initiating this proposal were not included and data that will probably support leadership development program in organizations were not provided.
Question 11: (11) What reasonable conclusions are possible? This refers to alternative solutions as conclusions. Alternative conclusions are: Conclusion: It is imperative for CHEM. to invest in Leadership Development Program Reason: Taking into consideration that the Company has been in existence for over 50 years and none of the current senior executives has ever attended Leadership Development Program in spite of their personal effectiveness and efficiency coupled with overall company’s success.
Conclusion: CHEM. can start the Leadership Development Program with just a few of the junior executive; evaluate training outcomes before making it a permanent program. Reason: Since the main reason given by Mr.. Ravish to make the CEO reject the proposal was that it will be a waste of money and detrimental to recruitment cost, the company can begin trial training of some of the executive, then evaluate training outcomes over a period of a few months before making a final session to make the Leadership Development Program permanent.
The need to incorporate Leadership training is supported by Leonard (2009), he advised companies to target every level of leader and think leadership development in terms of building organizational capabilities instead of individual capabilities to enable them reap the benefits of stronger leadership capabilities, reduced employee turnover, better financial and business performance. Also, Petri (2011) noted that both global environment and the required skills for leadership has changed overtime hence the need to train employees due to the emerging nominative global economy.