Critical Thinking & Problem Solving

3-Days Virtual or In-person
In stock
Product Details

How often do you think about how you think? Critical thinking helps people make decisions, take action, and develop beliefs based on rigorous and skillful use of information, experiences, observations, and logic. Critical thinking provides people with a competitive advantage. The combination of critical thinking and problem-solving skills allow people to continuously improve their work processes and eliminate stumbling blocks to their performance and satisfaction at work. The tools covered in this workshop can help both teams and individuals to overcome barriers to critical thinking and creativity, visualize a process, pinpoint problems, find their causes, and determine the necessary solutions. Participants will learn how to think before they think, to be able to choose the best tools and techniques for each situation.

Course Objectives:
Participants who successfully complete this course will be able to:

  • Define critical thinking and its workplace value
  • Identify situations where critical thinking is needed
  • Strike a balance between open-mindedness and skepticism
  • Question their steps in their thinking process
  • Consider the necessary facts
  • Test their assumptions and avoid biased judgment
  • Ask meaningful and relevant questions
  • Follow a critical thinking process
  • View a situation from 6 different perspectives
  • Generate more creative ideas
  • Create and then focus a team on a specific, shared problem definition
  • Identify and organize the root causes of your problems
  • Use information to determine the frequency and impact of your problem’s root causes
  • Identify creative problem solutions and action plans
  • Strategically plan for how you will roll out your solution, planning for both helping and hindering forces
  • Employ a variety of specific, hands-on techniques, designed to change your perspective and subsequently generate new ideas, solution sets, and unique insights on purpose
Course Outline:

Critical Thinking Tools
  • The Ladder of Inference – overcoming or minimizing cognitive bias
  • Four Steps for Critiquing Your Thinking
  • Avoiding Group Think
  • The Stepladder Technique – involving others’ input when assessing situations
  • 6 Thinking Hats – looking at a situation from 6 different perspectives
Critical Thinking Mindset
  • How to be open-minded
  • How to be well-informed
  • How to not jump to conclusions
Barriers to Creativity
  • What typically hinders creativity
  • How individuals or teams can generate and assess critical pieces of information essential to making the right decisions throughout the problem-solving process
  • How to balance perspectives rooted in emotions, logic, improvement opportunities, critical thinking, and creativity, when making decisions
Generating & Prioritizing Problem Statements
  • How to generate a list of potential problems to tackle
  • How to prioritize the problem list
  • How to create a problem statement that clearly defines the problem, in a manageable way
  • How to be sure all team members share a common problem definition
Identifying Root Causes
  • How to assess data and information to better understand why a problem exists
Identifying Solutions & Action Plans
  • How to create unique, on-target solutions that address the identified root causes
  • How to create the action plans necessary to solve the problem
  • How to generate recommendations for implementation of solutions using Force Field Analysis

Up to 30 students

  • Virtual Classes will be a live, Instructor lead class in Zoom for Government, a virtual technical assistant VTA will be available to assist students with any technical issues, take roll, administer evaluations, and distribute certificates of completion. Course materials will be provided electronically.
  • Onsite classes will be held at your location. The instructor will travel to you. Materials will be printed and shipped to your site. A sign-up sheet will be provided for student to enter their name (as they want it on their certificate) and the email address to send the certificate to. GSA travel costs will be added to the course fee. Contact us for a travel estimate.
  • A minimum of 2 weeks lead time is needed for virtual classes, 3 weeks for onsite classes.

Questions? Contact our training coordinator via email or phone at (202) 843.5447.

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