Stop and think

thinkingLast week, my team and I participated in a workshop on critical thinking, led by Judy Chartrand, one of the authors of the new book, Now You’re Thinking! As I was reflecting on what I learned last week, it was very apparent that improving my critical thinking skills can also help me be a better steward in managing the people, time, and money that has been entrusted to me as a leader.

In Now You’re Thinking!, the authors outline a 5-step thinking process to improve your thinking and decision-making. The first step: Stop and Think, was the most helpful concept for me. Oftentimes, as leaders we are faced with urgent situations and are asked to respond immediately. With the Stop and Think step, you literally stop and take time to reflect, asking questions like:

  • What am I trying to accomplish?
  • What is the organizational context?
  • Is the situation urgent?

This reflective pause is so helpful in making sure that your thinking and decision making  is grounded in your organizational goals.  It can also prevent you from launching head first into a reactive response that doesn’t align with your overall mission, and would be a waste of the resources (time, money, people) that you manage.

To learn more about the 5 steps to better critical thinking, I encourage you to pick up a copy of Now You’re Thinking!

Anita Rios


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