As part of the KSearch’s program to enhance one’s consultant skills, four KSearch Consultants participated in a 2-day seminar on Critical Thinking: Competency and Action by Profiles Asia Pacific, Inc. last January 21 and 22 conducted by Dr. Maria Vida Caparas, a professor at the University of Santo Tomas and an accredited trainer of the Philippine Government. There were 22 participants from various industries who actively listened, contributed and engaged in the discussion.
On the first day, we’ve defined and analyzed critical thinking along with its styles and processes. There were five common critical thinking styles shared to us during the discussion: The Investigator, The Pilot, The Pioneer, The Learner and The Soldier. When we were asked on our individual style, I’d say that I’m a combination of a learner and a soldier as I kept on researching and analyzing, at the same time, I won’t stop until the problem gets solved. Regarding the processes, our facilitator shared to us the basic problem-solving method wherein: first, we have to identify and define the problem; second, we have to identify alternative solutions and choose the best solution for decision making and third, to plan a course of action, implement it and evaluate. The Day 1’s afternoon session was filled with exercises and group discussions.
Our second day focused more on how to be a critical thinker. We’ve identified and enumerated some of the skills set such as probing techniques, active listening and common sense among others. The case studies given to us that day were a bit complex as it did not only require us to think critically but also to think creatively.
It was a fun and interactive session with our facilitator and “classmates” from different industries and that of different professions. I remember that my group, composed of a senior consultant for a manufacturing company, a general manager from an events company, an HR practitioner and an IT consultant played the “The Devil’s Advocate” every time we had group activities.
Of course, I’ve learned a lot! I’m sure that my colleagues also did have a great time. Aside from what I’ve gained from our speaker/facilitator, our co-participants keenly shared with us related industry experiences that required them to use critical thinking skills and eventually developed it into an everyday practice. Below are my top three take away points in our two-day seminar:
- Critical thinking is a habit, it can’t be done overnight. You should expose yourself in thinking critically whether be it at work or in one’s personal life but avoid over thinking.
- In order to think critically, we should be open-minded and base all our arguments on facts and figures. Critical thinkers don’t only see black and white as they also account shades of gray.
- Critical thinking is not critical if it’s not real.
I was privileged enough to be a part of this training as it added value not only on my professional career but also on my well being. Overall, I somehow associate critical thinking with creative thinking and after the seminar, I recall MRG’s words: “Don’t just think out of the box, think like there is no box.”
KSearch Asia Consulting, Inc.