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Critical Thinking Styles and Forces of Influence

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Critical Thinking Styles and Forces of Influence

Making decisions is a major portion of the manager's responsibilities. This aspect cannot be taken lightly nor can it be done in a hurried manner. Hasty or careless decisions can have devastating results on the manager's department or even for the entire company. Decisions made with deliberation using different kinds of processes, however, can lead the department or company to better and/or more profitable operations. When decisions are made in this manner, the manager should feel confident that he or she has made an appropriate decision and is the best option given the information available at the time. This does not mean to say that the manager will always make the correct decision; lack of information or situational changes can lead to faulty analysis. However, if the manager uses critical thinking and proven successful decision-making strategies, he or she can and should be confident in whatever action they have decided is appropriate. This will raise the confidence level, in fact, affect the outcome of their action. Forces of Influence “Managers can be called “information workers”; a manager is a craftsperson whose raw material is information (McCall & Kaplan 16).” Managers spend the majority of their time absorbing information and trying to process all the information in order to reach a decision. Within the sphere of security, a manager has many sources of where he or she may get this information, including, (a) systems and structures set up to keep them apprised on ongoing events, (b) the people around them who volunteer information and can be approached in search of trouble signs, clues, and missing pieces of puzzles, (c) the values of the organization, which point people in certain directions and define the critical variables in a complex array of possibilities, and (d) the manager’s own direct experience” (16).

One major problem with this whole process is information overload. This can lead a manager to make faulty decisions based on information that is relevant to his or her judgment but fail at investigating the information for the opposing idea or situation. Managers rely heavily on the associates that surround him or her to gather and provide him or her with the information needed the decision making process. Although the associates may or may not have the proper information it is still a primary source and influence that a manger must use. Another way managers obtain information is by the guiding values and beliefs within their organization. This contributes to a manager’s separation of relevant information from irrelevant information from the perspective of the organization expectations. In addition to values and beliefs, the direct hands-on experience of a manger is a good source for obtaining necessary information. When a manager encounters a problem he or she has experienced before, they have firsthand information to work through the problem, as they deem necessary, because they already have the personal understanding and knowledge needed in working with the information. Forms of Thinking A big factor in what managers use to process the information he or she encounters relies heavily upon their cognitive process. Which according to McCall and Kaplan is the first step in making sense out of the information that is presented to them at the time. Managers process information through nine different processes including: making sense of the pieces; processing only so much; simplifying the information; utilizing an emotional component; defining a reality; digging for information; knowing what one is doing; knowing one’s self; and having an open mind. Another approach used to process information is the logical scientific approach. Which according to McAulay, Russell and Sims note that within the logico-scientific mode of decision-making, it is important to discover the whole truth about the situation in order to make a logical and definitive decision. This type of decision cannot be based on one's opinion or even the opinion of the team; it must be based on hard evidence (32). To base decisions on personal perspectives or opinions without taking the time to analyze

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