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Think Smarter: Critical Thinking to Improve Problem-Solving and Decision-Making Skills by Michael Kallet

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14 Summary of Clarity

Clarity: Getting Clear about Your Headscratcher

This section introduced a set of tools to help you get clear on your headscratcher. When thinking critically, you must plan on spending more time on clarity than you are typically comfortable spending. In fact, you and others may become restless—and someone might even say, “Can we move on now, solve the problem, and stop talking about it?” Remember, we don't like to spend too much time on clarity because we don't like to think that much; also—it's hard. Getting clear is not easy. It not only takes discipline, but it also can be deflating, uncomfortable, and frustrating. You get bunches of “I don't know” and sometimes “I don't care!”—but it's crucial to be clear. The single biggest reason why projects, initiatives, and goals fail is the headscratcher wasn't really clear in the first place. Get clear, and stay the course—it'll benefit you in the end.

Getting Started

Start with small stuff when you begin to implement critical thinking. Don't try to solve world hunger right out of the gate. Start with getting clear on your own personal communication, perhaps by deciding that you want to start writing simple, short e-mails. Use inspection to determine how to do this. Expand to meeting invitations; use why to articulate the meeting's purpose. When attending meetings, use inspection, why, and so what. Of course, be cautious about how you ask those questions; don't ask for clarity on every sentence in a meeting. Ask ...

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