Updated: Nov 22
The brain is like any other muscle: it strengthens or atrophies with exercise or neglect. Given the complexities and challenges all teams face, effective problem solving or critical thinking skills are essential.
Critical thinking skills can be learned and developed. This important skill enhancement should be a part of each direct report's personal development. Leaders should make it a natural part of conversations by asking for solutions, strategies, and what the direct report would anticipate to be the short and long term ramifications of those choices.
There are many sources for learning critical thinking – Googling "critical thinking training" returned about 29,200,000 results (as of this writing). A well-written, great resource for developing critical thinking skills is: "The Thinker's Toolkit: 14 Powerful Techniques for Problem Solving" by Morgan D. Jones.
Leaders who encourage direct reports to work on their critical thinking skills and empower them to find the resources that work best for them have increased success.