Greetings from Kevin Pokorny, February 2008
Here are two Learning Tips to help you be more productive, thoughtful, respectful or just a better person.
Tip #1: "We don't have time for all of these questions; we've got to find the answers."
Most business innovations are inspired by the question "What if . . .?" If you want to increase your problem-solving skills, you need to sharpen your question-asking ability. Leonardo da Vinci, considered to be the greatest genius of the human era, was known for his insatiable curiosity and desire to ask questions. A critical thinking technique is to start listing questions to a problem that needs to be solved rather than writing down answers.
Here is a critical thinking exercise to start developing your question-asking ability.
Exercise: Asking 10 Questions
* Write down 10 questions about a bird in flight, e.g., what do the wings do?
* Now choose a topic from your personal or professional life and do the same exercise. For example, my values, my passions, department goals for 2008, or customer feedback on a product or service.
* Record questions, no answers yet.
* Look at the questions: What issues do they raise? What themes do you see?
* Now, begin answering the questions.
This exercise is one of many critical thinking techniques I offer in my seminar on Critical Thinking.
Tip #2: "When in doubt, tell the truth."
This is a quote from Mark Twain, which begins my seminar on ethics.
- When in doubt - Ask for help and be honest about it.
- When in doubt - Ask your gut what you think you should do.
- When in doubt - Can you live with yourself and others if you say or do what you're contemplating?
This NEW seminar provides a practical process to help you make better ethical decisions at work. It is based on a video program called "Compliance is Just the Beginning - 3 Steps to Ethical Decisions." For more information about this NEW seminar, please click on ethics training.