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.
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!
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.
If you are like me, then you have a serious case of the “Foot In Mouth Syndrome” which consists of saying things that inadvertently offend or embarrass people or yourself.
It is basically the art of saying things that you regret.
It is a real disease that plagues some of us, whether you are talkative or not, introverted or extroverted, thoughtful or not, mature or not.
To overcome this issue, we have to develop communication skills and tactfulness.
We just have to be extra careful to who we talk to, how we talk and what we say.
We just have to constantly monitor ourselves, filter ourselves more than usual, be more quiet than necessary, educate ourselves on our audience at all times.
We spend time fixing things and explaining what we meant.
We spend time avoiding expressions, topics and certain people.
In the workplace, there are a few phrases that are tactless and unforgivable and that you must avoid at all cost.
1. Silence as a cure
Staying silent doesn’t help circumvent the issue.
I have learnt this the hard way.
When you are too quiet, people will usually fill in the blanks with negative thoughts. Nobody will say: Tim is quiet because he is shy, introverted or cares a lot about the words that come out his mouth. Instead, they will say: Tim doesn’t speak to us because he doesn’t like us or because he thinks he is better than us.
Moreover, when you are too quiet, people will soon disregard you and forget that you exist.
It is better to minimize or actively filter the words you say than to stay silent.
People make mistakes all the time. You will just apologize if you have to.
2. Unintelligible speech
Fear of saying something unforgivable can make us do crazy things like speaking unintelligibly.
Fear can make us do crazy things. Period.
Speaking unintelligibly constitutes an attitude of avoidance. By doing this, you are straining your interlocutor and creating misunderstandings.
Very soon, nobody will want to talk to you. It becomes imperative that you build up some confidence, articulate and speak at a respectable volume.
3. Offensive speech
When we find ourselves in a stressful situations, it feels convenient and relieving to swear.
Studies show that the people who swear the most are very honest (very honest about their feelings, I’d say).
However, in the workplace, not everybody is comfortable with offensive language and you wouldn’t want to damage your self-image.
The best option is to stay from curse words all together or replace them with better language.
4. “It’s not fair”
Life is hard. Everybody has their personal challenges and unfair moments.
If you have put in the work and have not been recognized or recompensed, it’s OK. Your prince will come someday.
Sometimes, you have been doing something wrong that you are not fully aware of and you may want to discuss your performance with your trusted circle.
If you have been on the receiving end of continual unfair treatment, it’s time to move on to another job where you can put your skills to work.
5. “I didn’t double check that”
Unless you are the most perfect being walking the face of the earth, you will want to double check your work.
This comment makes you seem full of yourself and you open yourself up to criticism.
Everybody is susceptible to mistakes and need to pay attention to details.
6. “I’m busy” or “I don’t have time for this”
In the workplace, you should be able to prioritize your tasks and manage your own time.
By saying this, you are stating your incompetence, your lack of organizational skills, lack of patience or your laziness.
You can find ways to communicate your business without being rude or ask to reschedule.
That being said, some toxic leaders give their employees more work load than a regular person can handle. If you have a toxic leader, just make it clear that the task is not feasible in the time demanded.
7. “I’m bored” or “I have nothing else to do”
If you are bored at work, then you are in the wrong job or you are not being challenged enough.
To get out your boredom, you can either ask for more responsibilities, show some initiative or just be quiet about it.
8. “I’ll try”
This phrase implies the possibility of failure.
It is better to say “I will” or “I’ll do my best” because you make yourself accountable for your actions and means that you will put your best foot forward to succeed.
The worst that can happen is that you fail to deliver. But, you did your best, you will learn from your mistakes and grow as a person.
9. “That’s impossible” or “There’s nothing I can do”
That is a self-defeating and limiting phrase.
It means that you are not solution oriented and that you don’t even want to try.
10. “But we’ve always done it that way”
Well, this phrase might sound familiar to a lot of people.
It has been said by a lot of people, especially if they are experts, have been in the same position for the longest while or are resistant to change.
Truth is, not because you have been doing it one way that it is the only or that it is the right way.
Instead, it is best to state the reasons why you may want to keep doing it that way.
11. “I know that”
No, you don’t know. Stop.
If you did, you would be working for yourself and conversing with yourself. You wouldn’t need to exchange information with somebody. You would be the greatest and surest source of information of the universe.
Even if you really did know something, you should discipline your ego and your need to demonstrate your intellect.
Chances are the person sharing information with you will not want to share again.
Chances are when you will want information, people will assume that you already know.
Chances are when you will want information, you will feel embarrassed to come forward.
12. Strong No
There is an unwritten rule in the workplace which is to never openly use the word no.
If you are a straightforward person, you might be tempted to use it. You may think that you are decisive and that you know what you want or don’t want.
However, you will look harsh and it would be very hard to come back on the no without looking indecisive.
There are different ways that you can say no without employing the word in itself.
You can simply give the real reason why you are implicitly saying no or say something to effect of “I have prior engagement” or “I’ll think about it”.
13. Unwilling yes
Saying yes especially when you don’t want to oblige may be just as bad as saying no.
It is better to grow a backbone, stop people pleasing (easier said than done) and learn different ways to say no.
14. “Sorry but…”
You can apologize sincerely (once) if you have made a mistake but sorry is rarely enough and you will have to put in the work to fix things.
There is no need to beg for forgiveness because the best apology is changed behavior.
15. “That’s not my problem”, “That’s not in my job description” or “I don’t get paid enough for this”
I understand this approach or why someone would use these phrases.
Sometimes, we want to mind our business, don’t want to step on people’s toes and get out the scope of our job descriptions. Meddling in others activities can be a huge source of conflict or seeming to eager to please can lead you to be overworked and underpaid.
However, these specific phrases give off the vibe that you don’t care, that you hate your job or that you don’t want more responsibilities. If there is an opportunity to evolve, you will not be chosen.
Instead, you can recommend someone for this task, express that you will take care of this as soon as you finish your more urgent and adequate tasks (which may take a while).
Appreciate the situation for what it is and take the opportunity to try new things and get out of your comfort zone.
16. “I don’t need help”
Employers value people who are autonomous, who don’t expect hand-holding or for other people to do their job.
The reality is we all need help from time to time whether we want to admit it or not.
Permanently locking yourself off is simply an ego move and asking for help sometimes is OK.
Furthermore, people will like you more if you ask them for favors or for help.
17. “You are wrong”, “You make no sense”, and “You misunderstood”
Even if this is true and even if the situation is heated, there is no need play the blame game.
The blame game never results in resolve but in more blame shifting.
When in conflict, you either want to convince the other person of your point of view or put an end to all exchange.
The easiest way out is to ask for further clarification or clarify your point of view and move on.
18. “You should have…” or “You could have…”
These phrases are confidence killers whether you say them to yourself or to someone else. Relax, mistakes happen all the time and eventually you have to keep swimming.
The most important part is to take responsibility for your mistakes and quickly find solutions to the problem.
19. “I may be wrong, but…” or “I don’t want to steer you in the wrong direction, but…”
These phrases denote your lack of confidence.
The truth is that you dismiss yourself before others do.
To boost your confidence, just state what you are thinking. If your statement is wrong, then it is wrong. There is no need for a full disclaimer.
20. “It’s not my fault” and “I am only following orders”
Well that’s an easy way out!
Some people refrain from taking initiative or making decision just so they can shift blame.
Shifting blame is the fastest to create tension in the workplace. Even if you have nothing to do with the mistake, find different ways to fix the situation.
21. “At my last job…”
This statement immediately puts people in defense mode whether you or talking about people or work processes because you start gossiping, comparing and criticizing.
It implies that you feel like you have been better places and you are not able or willing to adapt to your new environment.
Making nonconstructive or judgmental statements can ruin a career.
22. “I quit”
Sometimes, you are just going through a phase where you want to quit and give up.
There is no need to speak your mind out loud and let everybody know that you are on the brink of quitting.
Instead, take a break from what you are doing and if you are about to quit, move in silence.
Last Words Of Advice!
Communicating with tact is a skill that you can acquire with time.
Everybody puts their feet in their mouth from time to time.
So, don’t beat yourself up.
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.
Today, millennials expect validation, recognition, rewards, a more deconstructed workplace that is fun, relaxed, motivational yet productive and structured.
They want to understand their role, the impact of their contributions at work, to be involved in the decision-making process, to learn continually and to own their work.
#9. New leaders don’t cater to their past and present relationships
Some leaders stop valuing people, start ignoring their teams and their past relationships. Instead, they tend to:
Disconnect from their teams. For instance, they don’t listen to their team and don’t measure their words.
Avoid conversations, small talk and nurturing new relationships.
Avoid collaboration and do everything themselves.
Focus on the results.
Leaders who don’t focus on people are seen to be snobs, insensitive, inattentive.
Dismissing relationships can easily create misunderstandings and conflicts because people have no barometer to measure your intentions, speech or behavior.
#10. New leaders run away from conflicts
New leaders aim to please at first. They sugarcoat, don’t address awkward dynamics, avoid conflicts, run away from difficult conversations, want to be liked and not respected.
They don’t speak up when they have to. For example, they don’t communicate expectations don’t correct employee mistakes when they have to, are no longer transparent because they are afraid of judgement and of losing their position.
In addition, they comply too often because they are not confident about their abilities.
Even if it is sometimes wise to avoid conflict, this strategy is not sustainable.
#11. New leaders shut down dissenting voices
New leaders must get comfortable with people who cause dissent even though the latter are natural catalysts, and easily take risks.
Dissenting voices within the organization usually have a bad reputation.
They are not welcomed in groups, go against the grain, are seen as not playing by the rules, are stifled, are the ones that end up being fired.
#12. New leaders don’t delegate
At entry level, we want to control people, do everything ourselves, be on top of everything all at once and find it hard to delegate.
Some leaders don’t know how to delegate, don’t want to delegate or just find it plain hard to do so. Indeed, it is a hard task because it requires that they:
Give instructions to their employees.
Have faith in the workers, be comfortable depending on others and believe that the work will be up to standards.
Have confidence in their personal abilities and do not be afraid of being upstaged.
Do not feel guilty that they are giving too much work to their employees because they were once in their place.
#13. New Leaders fail to navigate office politics
They don’t fully understand the politics at work and don’t take time to grasp it.
Stay aware of the new power struggles. Indeed, they will be compared to previous leaders and compare themselves to previous leaders, have to deal with jealousy and insubordination at first, have to face judgement and backlash from their coworkers.
Avoid talking negatively about the previous leader, gossiping about their coworkers with the coworkers.
Do not try to belong to a group in particular or try to be friends with their former colleagues.
#14. New leaders don’t take accountability for their actions
They don’t take accountability for their own actions.
Instead, they tend to shift blame, find a scapegoat, are afraid of the words “I don’t know”.
Furthermore, they take credit and don’t shine light on their high performing employees.
Last Words Of Advice!
Mistakes are inevitable, are a factor for change and for:
In today’s workplace, leaders of organizations must hire millennials and boomers to keep business running. For the sake of their organization, leaders must have them collaborating, handling constructive conflicts and effectively dealing with change.
However, conflicts in the workplace, involving different generations, are old as time, are common, are inevitable and ought to be handled quickly before they get out of hand.
Conflicts usually arise when one generation is leading or managing another. These days, boomers are passed over for promotions, millennials are put in leadership roles and tend to manage boomers because they have a researched set of skills that are beneficial to the company.
Bridging the generational gap helps in making better decisions, reducing employee turnover, strengthening team cohesion and in building innovative products.
Wondering how to bridge the generation gap and build a more collaborative workplace?
A generation is a period of time when people perceived the world differently. In one generation, people are shaped by social trends, are programmed with thoughts, values, moral ethics, models, examples of success and the guidelines to succeed.
Three generations rub shoulders in corporate: the baby-boomers (1946-1964), the generation X (1965-1980) and the millennials (1980-2000). Needless to say, each generation has their own set of strengths, weaknesses and of requirements in order to give their best at work.
The Baby-Boomers Generation
Boomers are the most famous generation and have a different set of values. They trust the system, understand hierarchy, follow rules and obey orders.
They believe in seniority and meritocracy. Indeed, they stay at a job for the longest time and wait for an opportunity for advancement.
Employees from the baby-boomer generation:
Define their identity through their jobs.
Have a strong work ethic. They are hardworking even workaholics.
Are concerned about the quality of their contributions at work.
Are loyal to their organization and expect loyalty in return.
You must be logged in to post a comment.