Eric Garner Thinking Skills Using Your Brain in the Information Age Download free ebooks at bookboon. com 2 Thinking Skills: Using Your Brain in the Information Age © 2012 Eric Garner & Ventus Publishing ApS ISBN 978-87-7681-966-8 Download free ebooks at bookboon.
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Distorted Thinking 14 2. 3 Catastrophising 14 2. 4 Confusion 15 2. 5 Distraction 15 2. 6 Yo-Yo Thinking 15 Please click the advert The next step for top-performing graduates Masters in Management Designed for high-achieving graduates across all disciplines, London Business School’s Masters in Management provides specific and tangible foundations for a successful career in business. This 12-month, full-time programme is a business qualification with impact. In 2010, our MiM employment rate was 95% within 3 months of graduation*; the majority of graduates choosing to work in consulting or financial services.
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Your Brain Wants Success 16 2. 11 Key Points 16 3 Improve Your Memory 17 3. 1 Synaesthesia 17 3. 2 Landmarks 17 3. 3 The Peg System 18 3. 4 Rhymes 18 3. 5 Mnemonics 18 3. 6 Remembering People’s Names 18 3. 7 Repetition 18 3. 8 Key Points 19 4 Blocks to Thinking 20 4. 1 Assumptions 20 4. 2 See Things from Other Points Of View 20 4. 3 Thinking and Doing 20 4. 4 Get Rid Of Lazy Thinking Habits 21 4. 5 Think like A Child 21 4. 6 See the Detail As Well As the Big Picture 21 Please click the advert Teach with the Best. Learn with the Best. Agilent offers a wide variety of affordable, industry-leading lectronic test equipment as well as knowledge-rich, on-line resources —for professors and students. We have 100’s of comprehensive web-based teaching tools, lab experiments, application notes, brochures, DVDs/ CDs, posters, and more. See what Agilent can do for you. www. agilent. com/? nd/EDUstudents www. agilent. com/? nd/EDUeducators © Agilent Technologies, Inc. 2012 u. s. 1-800-829-4444 canada: 1-877-894-4414 Download free ebooks at bookboon. com 5 Thinking Skills Contents 21 Time to Think 21 4. 9 Key Points 22 5 Logical Thinking 23 5. 1 Left-Brain Thinking 23 5. 2 Right Brain Thinking 4 5. 3 Managerial Thinking 24 5. 4 Logical Thinking 24 5. 5 SMART Goals 25 5. 6 Systematic Planning 25 5. 7 Using Information 25 5. 8 The Limits of Information 26 5. 9 Key Points 27 6 Creative Thinking 28 6. 1 Think like A Child 28 6. 2 Be More Curious 29 6. 3 Play with Ideas 29 6. 4 Make New Connections 29 6. 5 Be A Little Illogical 30 6. 6 Laugh More 30 You’re full of energy and ideas. And that’s just what we are looking for. © UBS 2010. All rights reserved. Think For Yourself 4. 8 Please click the advert 4. 7 Looking for a career where your ideas could really make a di? rence? UBS’s Graduate Programme and internships are a chance for you to experience for yourself what it’s like to be part of a global team that rewards your input and believes in succeeding together. Wherever you are in your academic career, make your future a part of ours by visiting www. ubs. com/graduates. www. ubs. com/graduates Download free ebooks at bookboon. com 6 Thinking Skills Contents Think Outside Your Limits 30 6. 8 Key Points 31 7 Brainstorming 32 7. 1 Brainstorming 32 7. 2 A Brainstorming Session 33 7. 3 An Example of Brainstorming: The Honey Pot 34 . 4 Brainwriting 35 7. 5 Key Points 36 8 Decision-Taking 37 8. 1 Time Them 37 8. 2 Align Them 38 8. 3 Balance Them 39 8. 4 Act When You Have To 39 8. 5 Use a Decision-Making Model 8. 6 Instinct 8. 7 Don’t Decide Without Acting 8. 8 Keep Your Decision under Review 8. 9 Key Points 9 Problem-Solving 9. 1 Please click the advert 6. 7 The Problem with Problems 360° thinking . 360° thinking 39 . 42 42 43 43 44 44 360° thinking . Discover the truth at www. deloitte. ca/careers © Deloitte & Touche LLP and affiliated entities. Discover the truth at www. deloitte. ca/careers Deloitte & Touche LLP and affiliated entities. Download free ebooks at bookboon. com © Deloitte & Touche LLP and affiliated entities. Discover the truth7at www. deloitte. ca/careers © Deloitte & Touche LLP and affiliated entities. D Thinking Skills Contents The Classical Approach 45 9. 3 Do Nothing 45 9. 4 Take Your Time 45 9. 5 Sleep On It 46 9. 6 Attack the Problem 46 9. 7 Two Heads are Better than One 46 9. 8 Occam’s Razor and the Five Whys 46 9. 9 Key Points 48 10 Innovation 49 10. 1 Create an Innovative Climate 49 10. 2 Keep Your Eyes Open 49 10. 3 Dreams and Daydreams 50 10. 4
Develop Washing-Up Creativity 50 10. 5 Make New Connections 50 10. 6 Necessity is the Mother of Innovation 51 10. 7 Test, Test, Test 51 10. 8 Adopt and Adapt 51 10. 9 Take Lessons from Nature 51 10. 10 Key Points 52 11 Web Resources on “Thinking Skills” 53 Please click the advert 9. 2 Download free ebooks at bookboon. com 8 Thinking Skills Preface Preface Introduction to Thinking Skills Thinking Skills are some of the most valuable skills you can learn today. The reason is simple. While in the past, people went to work for their manual skills, today they go to work for their mental skills.
We live in an Information Age, no longer an Industrial Age. That’s why brain has replaced brawn, and strength in thinking has replaced strength in muscles. No matter what kind of business you work for, nor what kind of job you do, today you are expected to apply a range of thinking skills to the work you carry out. This includes using your judgment; collecting, using, and analyzing information; working with others to solve problems; making decisions on behalf of others; contributing to ideas to innovate and change; and being creative about how your job can function better.
This book covers all of these skills. It will show you that, whatever you think about your mental abilities or the level of your IQ or your formal education, your brain is the most powerful organ you possess. It is the tool that, if used skillfully, can help you perform better in your job, better in your team and better in your organization. By developing your thinking skills to meet the needs of the modern world, you are guaranteed to succeed. Profile of Author Eric Garner Eric Garner is an experienced management trainer with a knack for bringing the best out of individuals and teams.
Eric founded ManageTrainLearn in 1995 as a corporate training company in the UK specialising in the 20 skills that people need for professional and personal success today. Since 2002, as part of KSA Training Ltd, ManageTrainLearn has been a major player in the e-learning market. Eric has a simple mission: to turn ManageTrainLearn into the best company in the world for producing and delivering quality online management products. Profile of ManageTrainLearn ManageTrainLearn is one of the top companies on the Internet for management training products, materials, and resources.
Products range from training course plans to online courses, manuals to teambuilder exercises, mobile management apps to one-page skill summaries and a whole lot more. Whether you’re a manager, trainer, or learner, you’ll find just what you need at ManageTrainLearn to skyrocket your professional and personal success. http://www. managetrainlearn. com Download free ebooks at bookboon. com 9 Thinking Skills What Are Thinking Skills? 1 What Are Thinking Skills? Few of us spend much time consciously practising thinking skills. We believe that thinking is either a natural function or believe that the great thinkers among us are gifted.
Nothing could be further from the truth. All research shows that each of us has a hugely powerful potential in our brains that lies vastly under-used. Moreover, when faced with a wide range of unsolveable problems in our lives, the need to use this potential has never been greater. 1. 1 The Potential of the Brain The facts about the brain are truly stupendous. For example, did you know that the human brain takes up a fifth of all the energy generated by your body in its resting state? It is similar to a 20-watt light bulb continuously glowing. How big do you think the brain is?
Well, if you can imagine it, your brain consists of 100 billion cells, each one of which connects to 1000 other brain cells making a total of 100,000 billion connections. There are more cell connection points in the human brain than there are stars in our galaxy. As Norman Cousins put it, “Not even the universe with all its countless billions of galaxies represents greater wonder or complexity than the human brain. ” 1. 2 Brain Power Here are some more astonishing facts about your brain. Although the brain weighs just 3lb, it contains 12 trillion nerve cells (more than two and a half times the people on this planet).
It contains 1000 trillion trillion molecules (way beyond our ability to compute), and can process 30 billion bits of information a second. Your brain has 10 billion neurons and the range of connections all the neurons in the brain could make would amount to one with 28 noughts after it. Just stop and write that down to get a feel for what that is. Your brain has enough atomic energy to build any of the world’s major cities many times over. Unsurprisingly, no human being has yet existed who has been able to use all the potential of the brain. How about you? 1. 3 Exploding the Myths
One of the reasons we fail to make the most of our brain and, therefore, our thinking skills, is that we hang on to a range of inherited assumptions about our brain and our capacity to think. Many of us believe that, contrary to the facts, we are either born bright or stupid. We think that we are only as intelligent as our measured Intelligence Quotient (IQ) and that this is fixed throughout our lives. We think that, when we run up against big problems, they just can’t be solved. We fret over taking decisions and bemoan our ability to choose wisely. We think that we are stuck with the way we think and that we cannot change it.
And to top things off, we think that, as we age, our brain declines and with it, our abilities to remember things. The only one of these assumptions that is true is that it is only our thinking that limits the power of our brains. 1. 4 Brainworks A simple look at what we ask of our brains is enough to show us what a wonderful organ this is. First, unlike other species (at least to our knowledge), we are the only species that can think in the 3 dimensions of past, present, and future. We can use our brains to interpret our world in any way we choose, at one extreme, positively and, at the other, negatively.
We can use our brains for working out answers to logical problems as well as using it imaginatively to work out answers to Download free ebooks at bookboon. com 10 Thinking Skills What Are Thinking Skills? illogical problems. We can imagine with our brains, invent and innovate. We can learn, change and develop. We can use our brains to interpret, understand, and become wise. We can use our brains to analyse things and to synthesise things. And, again, uniquely for species on this planet, we can use our brains to think about our thinking. The brain is truly the most complex and versatile tool we have in our bodies. 1. 5 Brain not Brawn
Given the wonderful instrument that our brains are, it is astonishing that, until very recently, thinking was regarded in industrialised countries as a second-class skill. For several centuries, people were employed first for their manual labour, secondly, for their machine-operating skill and lastly, and only if called upon, for their thinking ability. Today, all that has changed. We no longer live in an industrialised age but an information age. Instead of brawn, the successful companies and economies of today and the future need brains. They are the ones that will harness, use and reward the combined thinking abilities of everyone in them. . 6 Management Thinking So what kind of thinking skills do we need in the Information Age? Mike Pedler and Tom Boydell are researchers who have studied the qualities needed by successful workers. They found that at least half of the key skills are those that relate to how we use our brains. Their list reads: 1. command of basic facts 2. relevant professional understanding 3. continuing sensitivity to events 4. analytical, problem-solving, decision-taking and judgment-making skills 5. social skills and abilities 6. emotional resilience 7. proactivity: an ability to respond purposefully to events 8. reativity 9. mental agility 10. balanced learning habits 11. self-knowledge 1. 7 Thinking Matters All of us are capable of developing our thinking in all these different skills. But we are slow to change. Percy Barnevik, former chairman of ABB says, “Organisations ensure people only use 5 to 10% of their abilities at work. Outside of work, the same people engage the other 90 to 95%. ” By contrast, Jack Welch, former CEO of General Electric, says that encouraging ideas was one of his top three tasks, (the other two were, selecting the right people and allocating capital resources).
One of Welch’s typical approaches was to ask his managers not only what their ideas were, but who they shared them with, and who adopted them. When the factory of American entrepreneur and founder of IBM, Thomas Watson, burnt down, Watson was surprisingly unfazed. When asked why, he said that the wealth of his business was not based in his offices, assembly lines, and buildings but in the intellectual capital of his employees. He said, “I can re-build the offices and buildings. But I could never replace the combined knowledge, abilities and thinking skills of my people. ” Download free ebooks at bookboon. om 11 Thinking Skills What Are Thinking Skills? 1. 8 Key Points 1. The human brain is so powerful that few of us come anywhere near to using it as well as we could. 2. Every person has the ability to think intelligently and creatively. 3. The brain is the source of key mental faculties such as memory, imagination, creativity and innovation. 4. The brain is the key tool for mastering the modern information age. 5. Everyone in a modern organisation is a knowledge worker to some extent. 6. According to research, half the skills needed by successful workers involve the use of thinking skills.
Download free ebooks at bookboon. com 12 Thinking Skills Positive Thinking 2 Positive Thinking For much of the time our thoughts let us down. They are confused, disjointed and reactive. They don’t have to be. Through training our thoughts to be positive, focused and assertive, we can at a stroke improve the quality of our thinking. 2. 1 Untrained Thinking When we treat the brain as an unknown quantity that we cannot manage, then our untrained thinking is likely to consist of all or some of the following: 1. doubts, fears and catastrophising: the phenomenon of letting one bad thought colour the rest of our thinking 2. antasising: imagining the worst is likely to happen and directing all our thoughts to planning for it 3. self-deprecating: letting mistakes and failures lead us to believe we’re not good enough 4. remembering the worst: worrying about something we did in the past that we can’t change 5. confusion: having no clear goals or plans 6. reactive thinking: thinking in habitual or limiting ways 7. distraction: the inability to concentrate and direct our thoughts at will. Download free ebooks at bookboon. com 13 Thinking Skills Positive Thinking 2. 2 Distorted Thinking There are many common types of distorted thinking. Here are four.
First, there is lazy thinking where we think in habitual ways rather than in questioning our thoughts. Second, there is compulsive and obsessive thinking where the same thoughts reverberate in our heads again and again. Third, we continually think in musts, should, and oughts when we use our brains to judge what we do and how we think. Fourth, there is black-and-white thinking, where we swing from believing that things are wholly good one minute and wholly bad the next. All of these are negative and limiting types of thinking. 2. 3 Catastrophising In an untrained person, doubts and fears can form a large part of what passes for thinking.
Doubts and fears start small but can feed on themselves until they take over. It’s what happens when having left home, the thought occurs that we left the gas or electric on: very soon all our thinking is swamped by this one fear of catastrophe. Here is an anecdote that shows what can happen in the untrained thinking mind. A woman is driving along the motorway at night. Her thoughts start to race: “What if I get a puncture on the motorway? I’ll have to stop and walk through the dark to the nearest garage. Then I’ll have to ask someone to come out and fix the tyre. They’re bound to charge the earth at this time of night.
They’re bound to look down their nose at me as well. What a nerve! ” Just then she arrives at the garage, still thinking these thoughts, fills up her tank, and as she goes to pay her bill, blurts out to the astonished cashier: “... and you can keep your bloody jack as well. ” your chance Please click the advert to change the world Here at Ericsson we have a deep rooted belief that the innovations we make on a daily basis can have a profound effect on making the world a better place for people, business and society. Join us. In Germany we are especially looking for graduates as Integration Engineers for • Radio Access and IP Networks IMS and IPTV We are looking forward to getting your application! To apply and for all current job openings please visit our web page: www. ericsson. com/careers Download free ebooks at bookboon. com 14 Thinking Skills Positive Thinking 2. 4 Confusion A good exercise to find out what you habitually think about is to take time out to sit and relax and jot down the kind of thoughts you automatically get. A series of such “soil sampling” usually produces a mixture of thoughts: we have thoughts about things on our mind, thoughts about pressing needs such as “I’m hungry” and thoughts coming in because of external interference.
For many people the content of what normally goes on in their heads is jumbled and confused. “Life does not consist mainly - or even largely - of facts and happenings. It consists mainly of the storm of thoughts that is forever blowing through one’s head. ” (Mark Twain) 2. 5 Distraction The human brain connects to 24,000 ear fibres, 500,000 touch detectors, 200,000 temperature sensors and 4 million pain sensors. It is no wonder that with this capacity to absorb information, we find it hard to concentrate on just one thing at a time. So, instead of focusing, we let our minds wander.
Instead of thinking what we need t say, we say the first thing that comes into our heads. Instead of getting to the point, we let our minds go walk about. 2. 6 Yo-Yo Thinking As well as being distracted, many of us have a tendency to swing from a positive mood to a negative one in what we might call “yo-yo thinking”: one minute up, the next minute down. The story is told of the farmer whose ox died and, in panic, went to the wise man of the village and wailed: “I will be ruined. Isn’t this the worst thing that has ever happened to me? The wise man replied: “Maybe so, maybe not”. A few days later, the farmer caught a stray horse on his land and used it to plough the fields in half the time he would have taken with the ox. He returned to the wise man and said: “Isn’t this the best thing that has ever happened to me? ” Again, the wise man replied: “Maybe so, maybe not”. Three days later, while still overjoyed with his good fortune, the horse threw the farmer’s son into a ditch and broke his leg. Moral: Things are rarely as good - or as bad - as we think. 2. 7 The Self-Image
The self-image is the key player in our thoughts. To understand its importance we need to turn Rene Descartes’ maxim, “I think, therefore I am”, back-to-front into: I AM WHAT I THINK. Whatever we think we are, we are. Our self-talk creates our self-image. This is because our thoughts are always directed to proving what we want to believe. So, if we think we are stupid at maths, our thoughts will automatically seek evidence that proves it and ignore evidence to the contrary. Similarly, if we think we are quite clever at maths, we will seek evidence to prove it.
So, the key to releasing the potential of our thinking is to build a confident self-image in which our thinking is a partner in describing who we see ourselves to be. “Life consists of what a man is thinking about all day. ” (Ralph Waldo Emerson) Download free ebooks at bookboon. com 15 Thinking Skills Positive Thinking 2. 8 Positive Re-Framing The reason why a positive self-image and positive thinking succeeds isn’t only mental. It is also physical. Studies have demonstrated that the neurons in the hippocampus (a part of the brain responsible for day-to-day memory and new learning) can shrink when we are stressed.
Dendrites, the connecting wires between brain cells, have been known to permanently shrivel in response to negative thinking. On the other hand, love, affection and happy moods can strengthen these dendrites and enhance our ability to solve intellectual and practical problems. The negative thinker’s answer to: “Can you play the piano as well as Barenboim? ” is probably, “No, I never could. ” The positive thinker’s answer is “Not yet. ” 2. 9 Expecting the Best Most of us find it easy to worry, but we invariably worry about the worst that might happen to us.
By changing our thought direction, we can replace worrying about the worst into worrying about the best. Worrying positively has the same characteristics as negative worrying: nagging thought patterns; visualising ourselves in the situation; playing and replaying every possible angle; hearing what we will say, feeling what we will feel, saying to ourselves what we will say. Olympic javelin thrower Steve Backleypractised positive worry when he sprained his ankle four weeks before a major competition. Instead of giving up, he mentally practised his throws from his armchair until he had made over a thousand throws.
When the competition came, Backley made the throws he had mentally made and won. 2. 10 Your Brain Wants Success For much of the 20th century, it was thought that the brain was a trial and error mechanism: we tried something and if it worked, fine. If it didn’t work, too bad. End of story. We now know differently. The brain is not a trial and error mechanism but a trial and success mechanism. When set a clear goal, it actually seeks out not error but success. Error is not incorrect or faulty programming but simply deviation from the correct course. We set our goals.
We try, succeed, succeed, succeed, succeed, succeed, make an error, check, adjust, succeed, succeed. Your brain actually wants you to succeed and it lets you know that you can succeed through training your brain to think in constructive, creative, and positive ways. 2. 11 Key Points 1. Untrained thinking is often confusing, distracted and negative. 2. Trained thinking is usually focused, confident and positive. 3. The human brain believes what we let it believe rather than what it knows to be true. 4. Worrying negatively is the same process as worrying positively so just change your focus. 5. Yo-yo thinking” is alternately thinking things are very good or things are very bad. 6. The key to making the best use of our thoughts is to build a positive and confident self-image. Download free ebooks at bookboon. com 16 Thinking Skills Improve Your Memory 3 Improve Your Memory Most of us complain at some time about our poor memories - especially when we forget things that are important, such as birthdays, anniversaries and meetings. But it is not memory that lets us down. Our brains remember everything we have ever experienced; we know this from near-death experiences, hypnosis and feelings of deja vu.
What is at fault is our ability to recall. Here are 7 ways we can help our ability to recall facts and experiences of the past. 3. 1 Synaesthesia Synaesthesia is the association of memory with our senses. Dr Frank Staub of Yale University demonstrated that you can easily improve your memory when you link the things you want to remember with a memorable sight, sound, feeling, taste or smell. In one experiment, he wafted the aroma of sweet chocolate over a group of students who were preparing for an exam. On the day of the exam, he released the same aroma while the students were taking the exam.
The result was that these students out-performed everyone else. 3. 2 Landmarks The reason why synaesthesia works is because what we want to recall is associated with a striking landmark. Landmarks don’t have to be limited to the five senses. They can be anything emotional, shocking, funny, unexpected, silly, embarrassing, or outrageous. That’s why people can recall precisely what they were doing at the time of shocking news events, such as the assassination of John Kennedy or the death of Diana, Princess of Wales. It’s also why we never forget our first day at school, a beautiful romantic holiday, and our first teenage kiss. Graduate Programme for Engineers and Geoscientists I joined MITAS because I wanted real responsibili Please click the advert Maersk. com/Mitas Real work Internationa al International opportunities ree wor o ree work placements Month 16 was I was a construction supervisor in the North Sea advising and helping foremen he solve problems s Download free ebooks at bookboon. com 17 Thinking Skills Improve Your Memory 3. 3 The Peg System The peg system is a great way to remember a sequence of numbers, for example the phone number 302187.
All you do is give each number a rhyming “peg” word and then make up a crazy, silly or exaggerated story about it with the words in the right order. So, let’s say 3 = knee, 0 (nought) = wart, 2 = glue, 1 = sun, 8 = gate, and 7 = heaven. We could then make up the following story: “First I wrote the phone number on my knee around a wart. I put some glue on it to keep it in place. Suddenly the sun came out, so I went out the gate and found myself in heaven. ” Try it. You’ll find the story is always easier to remember than the numbers. 3. 4 Rhymes
The Peg System works because we associate a number with a rhyming word, eg 8 and “gate”, 2 and “glue”. The same principle holds true for much more complex pieces of information. So rhymes help us remember that “In fourteen hundred and eighty two, Columbus sailed the ocean blue” (and discovered America); that “i before e, except after c” (for spelling words like “believe” and “receipt”); and that “30 days hath September, April, June and November…” (for remembering the days of the months). 3. 5 Mnemonics Rhyming words like these are known as mnemonics, after the Greek goddess of memory, Mnemosyne.
Another type of mnemonic is associating letters with names in a certain sequence. So, “My Very Educated Mother Just Served Us Nine Pizzas” will instantly help you remember the sequence of the nine planets of the solar system, simply be looking at the first letters of each word. Making the sequence: Mercury, Venus, Earth, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, Neptune, and Pluto. The great thing with mnenonics is that you can make up your own sentences for things you want to remember and you can personalize them to your own situations or make them as silly as you want (remember, silly is memorable). 3. 6 Remembering People’s Names
The idea of associating something we want to remember with personal, silly, or funny associations is the key to remembering people’s names. Let’s say you’re introduced to a MrLazenby. All you need to do is picture him lazing on a summer’s day on a B road and you’ll remember his name. Similarly, a MrsPakenham could be imagined packing ‘em in in a fish factory and a Mr Forsyth could be pictured as a gardener with four scythes. The reason why these associations work is that you’re using both sides of your brain. Your left brain holds the name. Your right brain remembers the silly image. Together they help you recall. 3. Repetition One of the important keys to all these memory tricks is repetition. When we first collect a new piece of information, it goes straight into our short-term memories. This can only take 8 seconds. The trouble is, the short-term memory is a holding area for new information and unless we move stuff out, it will quickly be replaced with newer information. Moving information out means moving it into our long-term memories where it can remain indefinitely. The problem here is, it can take anything up to 6 hours to get something firmly embedded. And that’s where repetition, review, and replay come to the rescue.
Some scientists regard memory as the Rosetta Stone of the brain: the key that unlocks all the secrets of the mind. In an age of information, where most people are knowledge workers of one sort or another, having a good memory and being able to make the most of what you know isn’t just nice to have; it is essential. Download free ebooks at bookboon. com 18 Thinking Skills Improve Your Memory 3. 8 Key Points 1. When we forget something it is not because of a poor memory but because of our inability to recall. 2. There are various ways to increase our power of recall, all making use of our imaginative right brains. . Events that are shocking, emotional and silly stay in the memory longer than things that are mundane and normal. 4. You can remember an event more vividly when you associate it with one or more of your five senses, such as smell or taste 5. Mnemonics are one of the best ways to remember lengthy or complex information by associating numbers with rhyming sounds. 6. To move information from your short-term memory into your long-term memory, you need to repeat it Please click the advert enough times to make it stick. We will turn your CV into an opportunity of a lifetime Do you like cars?
Would you like to be a part of a successful brand? We will appreciate and reward both your enthusiasm and talent. Send us your CV. You will be surprised where it can take you. Send us your CV on www. employerforlife. com Download free ebooks at bookboon. com 19 Thinking Skills Blocks to Thinking 4 Blocks to Thinking Thinking, like communicating, is one of those functions we think we should be good at because we do it all the time, do it without effort and have done it for all of our waking lives. But there is a difference between just doing something like thinking or communicating and doing it well.
Just as with communicating effectively, what stops us from thinking effectively for much of the time are the perceptual, emotional, cultural and environmental blocks that get in the way. Here are 7 of those blocks. 4. 1 Assumptions When we assume, we often make an “ass” out of “u” and “me”. Assumptions are examples of lazy thinking. We simply don’t wait to get all the information we need to come to the right conclusions. There is the story of the customer at the bank who after cashing a cheque and turning to leave, returns and says: “Excuse me, I think you made a mistake. The cashier responds, “I’m sorry but there’s nothing I can do. You should have counted it. Once you walk away we are no longer responsible. ” Whereupon the customer replies: “Well, okay. Thanks for the extra $20. ” Tip: When you feel yourself wanting to draw conclusions, just wait until you have all the information. 4. 2 See Things from Other Points Of View A truly open mind is willing to accept that, not only do other people have other just as valid points of view from theirs, but that these other points of view may be more valid.
A story is told that the modernist painter Pablo Picasso was once travelling on a train across Spain when he got into conversation with a rich businessman who was dismissive of modern art. As evidence that modern art didn’t properly represent reality, he took out a photo of his wife from his wallet and said: “This is how my wife should look, not in some silly stylized representation. ” Picasso took the photo, studied it for a few moments and asked: “This is your wife? ” The businessman proudly nodded. “She’s very small,” observed Picasso wryly. Tip: Don’t have a monopoly on how things are.
Things aren’t always what they seem. Be ready to consider other points of view. 4. 3 Thinking and Doing It is part of Western intellectual tradition that the thinking part of a decision is separate from the implementation part of the decision, as if the decision was one thing and the implementation something quite different. Hence the gulf between those who take decisions, often in positions of authority, and those who carry them out: thinkers and doers. In Oriental philosophy, which has a much longer tradition than Western philosophy, the gap is not understood.
Here there is no gulf between thinking and doing. There is only process. A decision and its implementation are part and parcel of the same thing. This means that the decision can be changed as the implementation proceeds, just as the method of implementation can be changed if the decision is reviewed in the light of new information. Tip: Involve implementers in the decision process. Download free ebooks at bookboon. com 20 Thinking Skills Blocks to Thinking 4. 4 Get Rid Of Lazy Thinking Habits Habit can be a major stumbling block to clear thinking and another example of laziness.
Try this experiment. Write down the Scottish surnames Macdonald, Macpherson, and Macdougall and ask someone to pronounce them. Now follow these with the word Machinery and see what happens. Most people are likely to mis-pronounce it. This is because we tend to think in habitual ways and don’t like what doesn’t fit. Tip: Don’t think that, just because things happened in a certain way once before, they will happen like that every time. 4. 5 Think like A Child Research shows that the number of synapses, or connections, in the brain is greater in a child of two than in an average adult.
The reason for this is that a child of two has no limiting world view, as adults do. It’s like a sculptor who starts off with a large block of clay that can become anything. As he gradually removes the clay, the possibilities in his sculpture become less and less until it represents just what he’s looking for. If we use our brain like a child, accepting everything without judgment, we can actually halt and reverse the brain ageing process and become fully open-minded again. Tip: With the right stimulus and a passion for wonder, you can think like a child again. 4. 6 See the Detail As Well As the Big Picture
There is a poem by John Godfrey Saxe called “The Blind Men and the Elephant”. It tells how six blind men of Indostan go to see an elephant and each try to work out what it is from touching it. One blind man touches the tusk, another the trunk, another the tail, and so on. Of course, not being able to see the whole elephant, they disagree about what the animal is. When we see the detail and the full picture, it is easier to give everything its right context. Tip: Try to keep the big picture in front of you while looking at the details. It will help to put everything in its proper place. See the full poem here: http://www. oogenesis. com/pineapple/blind_men_elephant. html 4. 7 Think For Yourself Taking time out to think is still frowned on in many organizations that prize activity over creativity. People who work in creativity-constrained organizations are likely to think the way they are supposed to think, or as others think, or as has always been the way to think. It’s like the blinkered thinking that Hans Christian Anderson describes in his story of “The Emperor’s New Clothes”. Everyone in the land refuses to see that the emperor is naked and has been duped into believing he is wearing a splendid costume for his coronation.
Only a young boy who has been ill and not party to the cultural brainwashing can see the truth and cries out: “Look, everyone, the Emperor is wearing no clothes! ” Tip: Don’t let others tell you how to think. When others ask your opinion, tell it to them straight. 4. 8 Time to Think One of the biggest stumbling-blocks to thinking is that, in many organisations, we still don’t recognize that it is sometimes more important than activity. Here is a story that illustrates an anti-thinking attitude. Download free ebooks at bookboon. com 21 Thinking Skills Blocks to Thinking
The car-maker Henry Ford hired an efficiency expert to go through his plant. He said: “Find the unproductive people. Tell me who they are and I’ll fire them! ” The expert made his rounds with his clipboard in hand and finally returned to Henry Ford’s office with his report. “I’ve found a problem with one of your managers,” he said. “Every time I walked past his office, he was sitting with his feet propped on the desk doing nothing. I definitely think you should consider getting rid of him. ” When Ford asked who the man was, he shook his head and said: “I can’t fire him. I pay that man to do nothing but think.
And that’s what he’s doing. ” Each of us has the power to think clearly. It’s part of our natural make-up as human beings. The trouble is that, too often, we block our natural thinking ability and so make errors in judgment. By unblocking your thinking, by not judging, not making assumptions, and not blindly accepting the views of others, you can access the full creativity of your thinking. 4. 9 Key Points 1. We often make wrong assumptions about what we see because of prejudice and false expectations. 2. We each see the world differently because of our thoughts; every “thing” is a think”. . Thinking like a child is more open and creative because it is not layered with years of learning and habit. 4. Culturally-accepted ways of thinking can sometimes limit us to thinking in familiar ways. 5. Well-directed and well-trained thinking is always more productive than activity. 6. Successful enterprises need original thinking if they are to avoid blindly following the thinking of the Please click the advert majority. BEN JIJ DE CEO OF CFO VAN DE TOEKOMST? Nyenrode Business Universiteit daagt je uit om mee te doen aan de Nyenrode Career Challenge 2013.
Wat is jouw visie op de toekomst? Wat maakt jouw bedrijf succesvol in een veranderende samenleving? Doe mee en maak kans op een studiebeurs voor de Executive MBA of de Financial Controlling (Post) Master op Nyenrode. Schrijf je in en kijk voor meer informatie op www. nyenrodecareerchallenge. com of bel 0346-291 291. www. nyenrodecareerchallenge. com Powered by: Download free ebooks at bookboon. com 22 Thinking Skills Logical Thinking 5 Logical Thinking Logical thinking is to think on the basis of knowledge, what we know, and certainties, what we can prove.
The past two centuries have witnessed an unparalleled reliance on the logical approach to thinking. It is the basis on which modern technology is founded. But the flaw in logical thinking is that it relies on the conscious brain and this is the most limited and vulnerable part of our thinking. 5. 1 Left-Brain Thinking Logical thinking is the part of the brain that relates to its left-hand side (“l” for “left” and “l” for “logical”). It was Professor Roger Sperry of the University of California who discovered that different sides of the brain were responsible for different functions.
He discovered that the left-brain... • governs the right side of the body • governs the right field of vision • deals with input sequentially • perceives the parts more than the whole • perceives time • is the seat of verbal skills Download free ebooks at bookboon. com 23 Thinking Skills Logical Thinking • is the seat of logical and analytical thinking • sets goals, plans and reviews: the managerial mind • formulates evocative language The left side of the brain is the chattering mind, thriving on, but limited by, information. 5. 2 Right Brain Thinking
Just as he explained the workings of the logical, left-sided brain, so Roger Sperry also discovered that the right-hand side is responsible for romantic types of thinking (“r” for “romantic” and “right-sided”). In contrast to the left, he discovered that the right brain... • governs the left side of the body • governs the left field of vision • deals with inputs simultaneously • perceives the whole more than the parts • perceives space • is the seat of visual skills • is the seat of intuitive and kinaesthetic perception • is responsible for imagination and visualisation • formulates symbol and metaphor. 5. 3 Managerial Thinking
Managerial thinking tends to use the functions of the left brain more than those of the right brain. The sort of workplace issues that use left-brain thinking are analysing and detecting faults in mechanical processes through collecting, checking and testing information; investigating problems of the “what went wrong? ” variety; learning from how things have been done in the past to improve the way we do them next time; and obtaining information that answers “what? ”, “where? ”, “who? ” and “why? ” questions. All of these issues rely on information and on information being correct, complete and understood. 5. 4 Logical Thinking
Logical (or left-brain) thinking comes into its own when we are working with verifiable and reasonably certain information. This is information we can be sure about because it has been confirmed scientifically. Using “scientific” information allows us to develop our knowledge by making logical deductions. It is the kind of thinking used in playing games of chess, (where there are quite definite rules) and solving puzzles for which there is an answer. Logical thinking uses 5 steps: 1. a clear goal or solution 2. systematic planning 3. using information 4. reasoning 5. checking conclusions Download free ebooks at bookboon. com 24
Thinking Skills Logical Thinking 5. 5 SMART Goals The first step in logical thinking is a clear goal. Working towards clear goals is often described by the mnemonic SMART. These are goals which are Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic and Time-bounded. For example, it may be a department’s goal to produce 30 tons of product a day from 28 tons after upgrading its machinery. SMART goals are managerial goals. They lend themselves to plans and the application of a step-by-step thought-and-action process. Clear goals work from a known starting point (that is, now) in a series of steps and sequences until the goal is reached.
SMART goals assume that the future will be the same as now, that resources will stay the same and that nothing will interrupt the execution of the plan. If anything changes, then so will the SMART goals. 5. 6 Systematic Planning Systematic planning is the second step in the SMART process towards a goal. We know the “what? ” because we have defined a clear goal; systematic planning tells us the “how? ” to get us there. Systematic planning aims to find the correct method, the correct procedure, the correct system that can logically take us to our goal.
In SMART goal thinking, planning is “systematic” because we can try it out in different circumstances, repeatedly and with different kinds of information. It is like a computer programme into which we type our formula and apply our information to come up with THE answer. 5. 7 Using Information The remaining steps in the SMART process involve using our left-sided brains to work towards our goals. Information is key to this process. We need to group it, organize it, rank it, fit it into the bigger picture, and make connections with it.
It needs to be as accurate and verifiable as possible or else there can be no basis for further logical thought. Where information is uncertain, difficult to check, subject to change, not easy to understand, then it is of limited use. Please click the advert Budget-Friendly. Knowledge-Rich. The Agilent In? niiVision X-Series and 1000 Series offer affordable oscilloscopes for your labs. Plus resources such as lab guides, experiments, and more, to help enrich your curriculum and make your job easier. Scan for free Agilent iPhone Apps or visit qrs. ly/po2Opli See what Agilent can do for you. www. agilent. com/? d/EducationKit © Agilent Technologies, Inc. 2012 u. s. 1-800-829-4444 canada: 1-877-894-4414 Download free ebooks at bookboon. com 25 Thinking Skills Logical Thinking 5. 8 The Limits of Information Logical thinking relies wholly on how reliable your information is. But, in a fast-changing world, information presents us with a number of problems. 5. 8. 1 there is too much of it We are bombarded today with huge amounts of information, much of it contradictory. It is calculated that one copy of the British Sunday Times contains in it more information than a medieval man would have had access to in a lifetime. . 8. 2 it gets distorted easily All knowledge comes to us via someone else’s perception and is filtered by our own perception. Even the most unbiased of television news-readers cannot avoid an occasional voice inflexion or raised eyebrow when they deliver a story. We can never be absolutely sure of the motives and thinking behind the information we receive. “Never ask a hairdresser if you need a haircut. ” 5. 8. 3 it is incomplete We can never know whether the information we receive is complete or incomplete.
In the hours after the death of Diana, Princess of Wales, in a car accident in 1997 everyone believed that she had been a victim of pursuing photographers. Later it was discovered that her chauffeur had excessive levels of alcohol in his blood. 5. 8. 4 it is quickly outdated In today’s world of instant access to information via world-wide communications, knowledge quickly becomes outdated, obsolete and forgotten. All through history, when a craftsman learned his trade after a period of four, five or six years of apprenticeship, he had learned everything he would ever need to know.
It would be sufficient for the rest of his working life. Today, this is no longer enough. We need updates every few years to keep abreast of what is happening in our chosen field. The giant American corporation, General Electric, has speculated that a newly-recruited engineer’s knowledge will be out of date within five years of starting in the job. 5. 8. 5 our conscious brains can only hold a limited amount of information Our knowledge-holding brains - the conscious thinking parts - are only capable of holding a limited amount of data at any one time.
Most of us find it hard to keep more than about 7 or 8 facts in our conscious brain at any one time. To test this, deal someone 7 or 8 cards from a pack of playing cards; allow them 15 seconds to memorise them in their heads; and then ask them to turn the cards over and recall them. Very few people can successfully remember every single card. Now contrast this with the sub-conscious brain which stores every single experience and thought that we have ever had and still has room for a huge amount more. The logical, or scientific, approach to thinking relies on information about the world around us.
From it, we can create the most wonderful inventions and manifestations. But, in a fast-paced world, this information is quickly out-of-date, quickly inaccurate, and quickly useless. If we are to rely on logical thinking to succeed in life, then we need to be masters of left-brain thinking. Download free ebooks at bookboon. com 26 Thinking Skills Logical Thinking 5. 9 Key Points 1. Ordered thinking is thinking that is analytical, sensible and systematic. 2. The left side of the brain is the seat of logical thinking. 3. The right side of the brain is the seat of imaginative thinking. 4.
Logical thinking allows us to make incremental progress based on verifiable information. 5. While logical thinking relies on facts and information, information itself can be unreliable and inaccurate. 6. The analytical conscious brain is limited in the amount of information it can hold; while the creative subconscious is unlimited. Download free ebooks at bookboon. com 27 Thinking Skills Creative Thinking 6 Creative Thinking In our Western systems of thinking, there is a strong bias towards using the left-brain. We tend to prefer ideas that fit preconceived patterns, systems that have been proved and solutions that are low-risk.
But in a time of change, where we need to solve major intractable problems, we need to be more creative and instead of known thinking and known solutions, develop new thinking and new solutions, ie using the right-brain. Here are 7 ways to be more creative. 6. 1 Think like A Child As adults we tend to think in a conditioned way aimed at showing how clever we are. Yet, as children, we are simply spontaneous and far more curious in our thinking. To re-capture your childhood curiosity, allow yourself to just wonder at things, to be completely present in the here and now, and to detach yourself from what you thought was real.
Why are leaves green? Who is Father Christmas? What makes us yawn? Where do people come from? Why do we have to go to sleep? What’s at the end of a rainbow? What happens when we die? Please click the advert What makes us laugh? Download free ebooks at bookboon. com 28 Thinking Skills Creative Thinking Why do people fight? What makes the light go on? Where do animals go when they die? Why do we have to work? 6. 2 Be More Curious The search for new answers to old problems starts with being curious about the problem and looking at it with fresh eyes. Sigmund Freud said that such curiosity came more naturally to children than adults.
Other great inventors have also recognised the importance to creative thinking of being curious about the world. This is how Leonardo da Vinci described his endless curiosity: “I roamed the countryside searching for answers to things I did not understand. Why shells existed on the tops of mountains along with the imprint of coral and plant and seaweed found in the sea
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