The TRUTH of Quality Thinking

I had a friend in college that was known for his Quality Thinking skills. He would sit on a desk looking much like David’s Thinking Man, contemplating what we were doing for hours. Not saying much, just thinking. Everyone thought him to be brilliant not because of what he ever said, but because of what he must have been thinking. 

Let me ask you this?  Do you have a clear, calm mind for a lot of your day, or do you find that daily your mind is generally cluttered with a whole load of ‘internal mind chatter’? 

Quality Thinking might be defined as being focused, efficient, and productive.   The ability to think clearly, deeply, and productively is one of the most valuable professional skills in the workplace today—but it’s also becoming one of the most endangered. 

Perhaps random, pointless, or unhelpful thoughts just create ‘noise’ inside your head. You are focused on worries, doubts, negative thoughts, and even giving yourself a hard time for a seeming lack of progress. At a time when we need clear and productive thinking the most, our thinking is invaded by useless and unproductive thoughts. 

While there is some sense of optimism around the power of thinking to help us make better decisions, be kinder and problem-solve together, a significant ‘thinking gap’ has emerged among younger workers. Just 34% of all 5,700+ respondents to a recent poll reported that they spend all or most of their thinking time in clear, deep, and productive thinking. 

So, what are you thinking? Higher learning is no longer challenging young people to think for themselves. It is trying to shape thinking around philosophies that depend on group thinking. Business does not necessarily reward creative and independent thinking. Social institutions are even confining their thoughts into divided camps. With the hurried pace of life who even has time anymore to just think. 

The TRUTH of Quality Thinking is that it must be a deliberate act, one that we set time apart for and enter with goals in mind.  We need to define thinking in specific ways, including: 

1. Critical Thinking: Ability to evaluate facts from opinions and true information from false 

2. Collaborative Thinking: Openly engaging with and building on the ideas of others (e.g., brainstorming, discussion groups, etc.) 

3. Reflective Thinking: Introspective thinking, in which one is aware of and evaluates themselves and their lives, as well as how their actions may impact others 

4. Higher Order Thinking: Clear, deep, productive thinking Anything less will not produce creative results, real solutions, or lasting systems. 

We are each capable of Quality Thinking, we just have to apply what we know in new ways with optimism and a sense of confidence.