Critical Thinking

31
Oct

Do You Really Need a Rule for That?

One of the joys of my job is interviewing a wide diversity of people every year. They generally range from CEOs to front-liners. While you might think senior people would provide the best insights, there are times when someone who doesn’t know how to filter their comments says something that strikes at the heart of an issue. Such was the

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21
Aug

Customer Utensils? It’s Not on the Checklist

I frequent a particular fast-food chain because I like their salads. But I’ve noticed a little detail that can be annoying, yet easily fixed. That’s the issue of placing plastic utensils in the to-go orders. Twice in the past three visits, I have forgotten to grab a fork before leaving the store. In both cases I’ve ended up someplace and

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7
Aug

Don’t Fix the Cat’s Leg

Deanna is my hair stylist. She is a sweet twenty-something who sometimes overshares as she gives me a trim. Last week, she and another colleague were going back and forth about how to raise $4000. Ask friends? Create a go-fund-me campaign? Beg your parents for a loan? My curiosity got the better of me and asked what the $4000 was

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22
Jan

Have Your Young Professionals Learned How to Fail?

Yes, you read that correctly. As I speak with employers every week, one of the concerns they mention is the apprehension many new graduates display when compelled to make a decision for which there is no right answer. Sometimes this apprehension takes the form of endless questions. Sometimes it appears to be a lack of urgency. Sometimes it looks like

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2
Jan

Are You Wrapping Your Kids in a Burlap Blanket?

My wife and I and our friends, Bill and LuAnn, were sharing stories about our twenty-something kids. As we discussed the normal trials and challenges these young people face, we wondered out loud about the balance between saving them and teaching them to “sink or swim.” “We’ve always tried to wrap our kids in a burlap blanket,” said Bill. I

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5
Dec

Making a Game of Repetitive Work

Like anyone, there are times when I am saddled with a repetitive task. Whether it’s raking the lawn, stuffing envelopes, or painting the kitchen, it can be tough to make the time go by. But I  have learned to re-frame this boredom by making a game out of it. So have most of those who grew up before the digital

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21
Nov

Are You Learning from Your Mistakes?

A long-time contractor recently told me of taking charge of a building project when he first got started. Having just graduated with a degree in construction management and feeling full of himself, he began by telling the masons that he would now order their materials since he knew how to budget the job in a more efficient way. When they

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15
May

Managing Discomfort is the Key to Success

It is human nature to aspire to greater things. The United States was conceived and built on that principle. Sadly, some of these aspirations are thwarted by circumstances and environment. More often than not, however, we thwart our own aspirations out of poorly informed beliefs. We listen to what others tell us without verifying the accuracy. We follow the rules

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17
Apr

Critical Thinking: The Economy’s “Other” Skills Gap

A lot has been written recently about the skills gap facing today’s economy. Researchers credit several sources for this phenomenon. First, the Baby Boomers will finally retire in droves over the next decade. Second, there has been a diminished interest in the hard sciences, resulting in a deficit of healthcare professionals and scientific researchers. Third, significantly fewer young people are

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6
Mar

Here’s Why Listening Results in Better Decisions

It is said that President Franklin Roosevelt became convinced that most people were so excited to meet him in person that they really didn’t pay attention to what he said. So he tried an experiment. As he greeted guests during a White House reception, he smiled and said to each of them quietly, “I murdered my grandmother yesterday afternoon.” As

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