Step 1: is to analyze the situation, sorting out facts from assumptions and then challenging any notions that may be incorrect. (Covey, 1997)
List here any known facts and assumptions.
Step 2: is to form a set of objectives. The simple questions, "What is our objective?" or "What am I to accomplish from this?" always need to be asked to help one define one’s goals. (Covey, 1997)
What is your goal or objective? What are you trying to accomplish? Write that here.
Step 3: of synergistic decision-making is to check for alternative courses of action. This many times is simply a list of pros and cons, brainstorming, or creative thinking sessions. (Covey, 1997)
First of all, make a list of pros and cons.
Second, brainstorm to think of new or alternative ways of finding a solution. Think win/win.
Covey, S. R. (1997). The seven habits of highly effective families. New York: Golden Books.
I use this work sheet, plus other activities, media, etc. in the training.
How Organizations Change, Part One
A presentation about how to make organizational changes. Based on John P. Kotter's change model, with adaptations to take advantage of Theory Of Constraints planning tools.
This video is somewhat tedious, but it is about one of my favorite subjects: How organizations change.
Notice that this could also be used in goal setting, decision making, time management, critical and creative thinking. All these skills are utilized in change.
This formula for change also works within families and educational settings.
I think the main focus in change is desire. But of course, there are always those who are resistant and have no desire to change. In this case, apply all the skills, persevere, and work to ensure that slowly a new understanding takes place.
Lead and show by example. Of course, in an work environment, if needed you can eliminate someone extremely resistant to change, but in the home we cannot fire our children or spouses. So we keep working, leading, persevering, teaching, modeling, encouraging...
The synergistic decision making process uses the following format which leads to resolution. First, one must consider the rational, asking the right questions to try to come to the right decision. Then, one must consider the interpersonal, which includes relationships and feelings.
In synergistic decision-making, what follows are three simple and basic premises, and yet if deleted, the process may be flawed. The first step is to analyze the situation, sorting out facts from assumptions and then challenging any notions that may be incorrect.
The second step, is to form a set of objectives. The simple questions, "What is our objective?" or "What am I to accomplish from this?" always need to be asked to help one define one’s goals.
The third step of synergistic decision-making is to check for alternative courses of action. This many times is simply a list of pros and cons, brainstorming, or creative thinking sessions. (Covey, 1997)
This is a comical video that gives a view on decision making:
Mad TV Bob Newhart Skit - Mo Collins - Stop it
This is a fan favorite classic Mad TV skit with bob newhart. it seems to me that there is some truth to it...I claim no rights to MadTV or the material presented in it and no Copyright infringemen...
Watch this video.
What was your initial reaction to Simon interrupting the singer?
Why did Simon do that? What was his motivation for doing so?
Who is Simon Cowell and what is his background? What is Simon known for in his trade?
Why did the boy choose the first song? Was it the best showcase for his talent?
He is known in the United Kingdom and United States for his role as a talent judge on TV shows such as Pop Idol, The X Factor,Britain's Got Talent andAmerican Idol. He is also the owner of the television production and music publishing house Syco.
He is also known for combining activities in the television and music industries, having promoted singles and records for various artists, including television personalities.
In 2010, the British magazine New Statesman listed Cowell at number 41 in a list of "The World's 50 Most Influential Figures 2010".
Is this man a person who could tell whether or not a contestant is singing a song that showcases their voice to the best of their ability?
Simon was trying to help Shaheen. His interruption had a purpose and his intent was good.
Notice, too, that Shaheen is humble, i.e. teachable, and takes Simon's advice.
He doesn't run off stage crying because Simon stopped him.
He doesn't pout or act arrogant. "How dare Simon interrupt me or tell me to pick a different song!"
Do we accept criticism?
Are we teachable?
Are we humble?
By the way, Shaheen was asked to perform this same song at Michael Jackson's Memorial Service.
An Unexpected Holiday Feast
One year while studying in London, I found myself alone on Holiday. My church did not meet until late afternoon, so the morning stretched before me. I thought of my family, miles away, celebrating the day without me, and my heart felt empty and sad.
At first I wanted to indulge in self-pity, but then I began to wonder what I could do to make the day meaningful.
My mind turned to the people I passed daily in the crowded subways. As in many big cities, the subways often sheltered homeless men and women needing a handout.
My heart had often been touched by their need, and I realized that I wasn’t the only one in London spending Holiday alone. Helping strangers suddenly seemed like a good way to show my gratitude for the wonderful Holidays I had enjoyed as a child.
I made several sack lunches containing sandwiches, fruit, crackers, and drinks.
Then I headed to the subway, searching out the people I had sometimes avoided. Most were truly grateful for the food.
To each I said, “Happy Holiday!”
When I had one lunch left, I came upon a man who looked particularly downtrodden. His clothes were filthy, his face was lined with suffering, and his eyes held deep sorrow. As I offered him the lunch, he looked up at me in surprise.
“What is this?” he asked.
“It’s lunch, sir,” I replied.
“Thank you, thank you very much,” he said.
His expression suddenly changed to one of joy and gratitude. He clutched the sack eagerly, holding it as if it were a precious treasure.
“You’re welcome,” I said, touched by the look on his face.
“Happy Holiday, sir.”
“Happy Holiday!” he replied.
I also stand before God as a beggar. He reaches out to me, offering mercy. Someday when I stand before Him, my face will register profound gratitude, which I had glimpsed, in small part, on the face of this humble man.
Walking home, I began to weep.
My loneliness was gone, replaced with joy and a deeper understanding of mercy.
I silently thanked God for this man’s unexpected gift to me. I had offered him a simple lunch; he had returned to me a true holiday feast.
(An edited version by Marianne Monson in the March 2008 Ensign).
I have been working on my book about Critical Thinking and so that was on my mind when I ran across the above story. On the surface it just seems to be a wonderful story of mercy, gratitude, and service.
However, when you analyze it from a critical thinking perspective, it demonstrates one crucial point: thinking through to see the consequences.
Marianne was alone in a foreign country on a special holiday. She was sad and felt empty. She even considered indulging in self-pity, but she then thought through her predicament and instead, thought about what she could do to make the day more meaningful.
This actually is an everyday example of analyzing the situation and making assertions built on sound logic and solid evidence.
What evidence? What logic?
But think about it. If she wallows in self-pity: will she be happy or sad?
If she sits around all day alone: will she improve her day/week/life or will she just feel more alone?
Many small decisions seem small and insignificant so we do not take the time to go through the steps outlined in Bloom’s taxonomy, which aren’t just about how we learn, but also help us to apply what we know, make connections, make judgments, and so on, which help us make better decisions and solve problems.
Marianne has an actual problem and she has to make a decision as to what she will do, how she will respond. We encounter thousands of these types of scenarios every day.
If we become better thinkers, we make better decisions. Better decisions lead to better and more fulfilling outcomes. Better outcomes lead to a prosperous and happy life.
Learn to think critically…to be happy. (Simple enough?)
Note that Marianne decides to find a way to make the day more meaningful, then she finds a simple (and cheap…remember she is a college student) way to serve others in the time frame (she goes to church in the afternoon) that she has.
Clear thinking takes in constraints and weighs them in as well. (We used to call this: make do with what you have).
The consequences to choose from are either: negative (self-pity, being alone, sad) or positive (serve, work, find something meaningful or productive to do).
I think Marianne chose correctly.