Smart Thinking: Skills For Critical Understanding And Writing By Matthew Allen

Smart Thinking is a skill and an attitude.

Smart Thinking is effective reasoning that requires the filtering of information.

Needless to say, Smart Thinking helps you become successful at work and in your everyday life.

What is Smart Thinking?

Smart Thinking combines the way:

  • You reason and comprehend the complex world that you live in.
  • You access information, process information, analyze and express your ideas and critical thoughts.
  • You clearly communicate, present, classify and structure these ideas.
  • You illustrate these ideas.
  • You adapt your ideas to your audience and persuade them.
  • You understand someone else’s idea.
  • You discern useful information, sort out and understand general information.
  • You assess, make decisions, solve issues and predict the future based on your experiences, assumptions and biases.

What is required in Smart Thinking?

Smart Thinking requires information and the proper use of claims

A claim is a written or spoken statement, true or false, that expresses the view of the world.

Therefore, claims are descriptive, reserve positive and negative value judgement.

To properly reason, claims are linked together and must be carefully structured.

How to reason effectively?

Reasoning effectively means avoiding errors, internally evaluating arguments and thoughts before expressing them.

In effective reasoning, clear, well-formed, well-founded and truthful claims are welcomed and are easily accepted by an audience.

To reason effectively, you must start with claims that are more acceptable and end with those that are less acceptable to an audience.

“Reasoning is not about answers […], but about the process of making answers more acceptable by giving appropriate reasons for them.”

Furthermore, using expertise, accurate examples or authoritative sources is a way to solidify a claim and make it more acceptable.

Another way to reason effectively would be to remain in control of your claim, aware of the context of the claim and believe that your claim is true before sharing it with an audience.

The different types of reasoning

There are five types of reasoning.

1. Causal reasoning

Causal reasoning employs common sense and allows reasoning from cause to effect.

2. Reasoning from generalization

Reasoning from generalization explains how a general event impacting general population leads to another event.

3. Reasoning from specific cases

Reasoning from specific cases takes specific events and provides a conclusion.

4. Reasoning from analogy

Reasoning from analogy uses an analogy to a given case to draw conclusions about that case.

5. Reasoning from terms

Reasoning from terms used the meaning of words from a given context.

Review

Smart Thinking: Skills For Critical Understanding And Writing by Matthew Allen is a roadmap to critical thinking and analytical skills which are heavily required leadership.

Taken from practical experiences and Australian History, Matthew Allen explores the philosophical concept behind language, the importance of words, critical thinking and the reasoning process.

Matthew Allen teaches us ways to make our reasoning strong and effective. He shares the analytical structure of reasoning and consolidates every single one of his theories with exercises and comprehension tests in every chapter.

In addition, his book and examples are socially conscious when it comes to the treatment of Aborigines in Australian History.

Furthermore, Smart Thinking: Skills For Critical Understanding And Writing by Matthew Allen is not the type of book that I’m used to reviewing. However, I recommend it for leaders seeking to build remarkable leadership and critical thinking skills.

After reading this book, you will want to consider issues in depth and within context, be smarter about the messages you convey, avoid making assumptions and make well-founded claims.

Let me know below what you think about this book!

Favorite quote(s)

Reasoning is something we already do: all of us have be learnt, in one way or another, to think and to reason, to make connections and see relationships between various events and attitudes in our world. So, being a smart thinker is not about becoming a different sort of person, but about improving skills that you already have.

It is our responsibility to understand what is happening in society and to act where necessary to conserve or change, to get involved, to make things better, and to fight injustice. We can only pick our way through the complex tangle of opinions, assertions, ideas, and assumptions that make up the dominant social world in which we live.

We should never assume that there can be only one right view; we should not, in turn, presume that all views are right.

What makes assumptions dangerous is not their content […] but, rather, that they are not consciously considered and tested to see if they are correct.

What any one individual knows about world is extremely limited. People tend to be experts in certain small areas and ignorant in many others; their detailed knowledge is often applicable only in limited situations.

Ratings 3/5

About the author

Matthew Allen

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Matthew Allen

Matthew Allen is a lecturer in the School of Social Sciences and Asian Languages at Curtin University of Technology.

Matthew Allen is also the author of Smart Thinking: Skills For Critical Understanding And Writing.

4 Essential Learning Skills Every Leader Needs To Know Right Now

Throughout our life, we never stop learning.

By continually learning, you grow and open yourself up to new experiences and ideas.

Acquiring good learning skills builds up your confidence and your willingness to explore.

Wondering what are the essential learning skills that every leader should know?

4 Essential Learning Skills Every Leader Needs To Know Right Now #leaders #leadership #leadershipskills #learningskills #communicationskills #organizationskills #creativity #creativethinking #criticalthinking https://journeytoleadershipblog.com

What are learning skills? 

Learning skills are thinking skills and habits that you acquire in your childhood to help you learn and that you can perfect in adulthood.

Furthermore, learning skills is all about processing useful information, acquiring knowledge, self-regulating and making a sound decision.

Learning include reading, listening, focusing, remembering, confronting your understanding, practicing what you have learned, using the right tools and using time effectively.

1. Critical Thinking Skills

Learning is acquiring knowledge but not all knowledge is useful or will have a positive impact.

Therefore, leaders must develop critical thinking, become attentive to details, be selective of the knowledge that you acquire and store in your brain.

They must be able to think critically, make their own opinion and think independently, create their own experiences and increase self-awareness. They must also be able to classify and track their thoughts and ideas.

Furthermore, leaders must be able to break down, analyze, compare and understand a situation, an event or concept in order to reach a conclusion and take a measured decision.

2. Creative Thinking Skills

Creative thinking is the ability to be creative and to generate ideas.

With a sense of creativity, leaders are authentic, curious, open-minded, adapt easily and are capable of expressing themselves.

They are able to innovate, brainstorm with others, creatively assess a problem and come up with new and out of the box solutions.

3. Communication Skills

There are several ways to convey a message. Some leaders enjoy public speaking, some one on one conversations and others prefer reading or writing down their thoughts.

Leaders must be able to describe, share, argue, persuade, clarify, defend an idea, explain themselves and reach a solid conclusion. That way, they confront their own ideas and understanding.

They are also able to actively listen, evaluate an idea and engage with it.

4. Organizational skills

Organizational skills include time management, goal setting, schedule and event planning, productivity tracking, and progress measurement.

When leaders are organized, they tend to favor a clean and tidy workspace.

Being organized helps them alleviate the mental load, organize their thoughts, focus on the tasks at hand and meet their deadlines.

Organized leaders run the day and don’t let the day run them.

Last Words Of Advice!

Everybody learns differently.

It becomes useful to identify your preferred learning style as soon as possible.

 

Hope that I’ve helped you get it together on your way to leadership!

Don’t forget to like, share and leave a comment below.

 

 

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9 Tips To Lead Employees Working Remotely

Working from home has become the norm in the last few weeks, and has allowed companies to remain competitive and productive.

Employees can now get work done, tend to personal obligations and spend more time with their families.

That being said, leaders have to maintain their objectives and keep an eye on their teams.

Wondering how to help establish remote working and lead your team from afar?

9 Tips To Lead Employees Working Remotely #leadership #remoteworking #telecommuting #balance https://journeytoleadershipblog.com

There are amazing benefits to having remote workers: you save money and office space, workers save time and energy from the commute.

It will certainly improve employee engagement and boost morale.

There are different ways that you can help establish remote working. 

1. Make a general assessment

Each company has unique needs. Therefore, you first need to assess the needs and the equipments of your company. 

Secondly, you need to assess the position and responsibility of the employee. The position needs to be suited for remote work. You may want to understand with whom they confer with, how long they work and what do they need to get work done.

2. Get to know your team

Should all employees be allowed to work remotely?

To allow employees to work from home, you have to know how well they produce work and how serious, disciplined, mature and autonomous they are.

Some employees may be new to the company, may need a lot of supervision, may have difficulty communicating from a distance or may not know how to balance their work and life.

You can put remote under a trial period to test their ability to produce quality work remotely.

3. Make sure you trust your team

Before sending them out to work remotely, you must be able to trust your team and know that they will be pulling their weight.

Remote workers are not that hard to supervise but it all depends on your level of trust.

4. Invest in new technology 

In order for you to keep up with your remote team, you may need to invest in digital workspaces.

These workspaces will allow you to schedule meetings, share documents, set deadlines, give instructions, train your team, communicate securely with your team and track their individual progress.

5. Clarify goals

Information can easily get lost when you are working remotely.

It becomes important for you to clarify your objectives and ensure that your team understands what needs to be done.

This will make it easier for them to stay on task, for you to track their progress and to address any issues.

6. Create a structure around your team

Let your team know at what time and for which activities they need to be available.

Working from home provides great flexibility but remote workers may have to also obey a code of conduct, a dress code and fixed hours to keep them engaged and far from burning out.

7. Plan in person meetups

Remote workers can get lonely and lose touch with their organization.

They will even have more difficulty keeping up and communicating with your team in the office.

Therefore, it becomes detrimental to make yourself available to them, keep them in the loop, encourage communication and include them in meetings and all meetups.

8. Deal with the legal aspects

You have to make sure that your team agrees with requirements and conditions of working from home.

Their information and data must be protected and they have to be safe, insured and properly equipped.

9. Equip your team

Your team may need a computer, a dedicated office space, a better and protected internet connection.
 
Overall, keep in mind that working remotely reduces the cost of operation.

Last Words Of Advice!

Productivity and work life balance have somewhat improved thanks to remote working. Employees are more and more looking for companies that can provide them with enough telecommuting.

However, just like working in a cubicle, remote working is not made for everybody and should not be imposed.
 

Some people enjoy human contact and others may want a better work-life balance but may suffer the consequences of working alone.

 

Hope that I’ve helped you get it together on your way to leadership!

Don’t forget to like, share and leave a comment below.

 

 

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