Critical thinking: the interrogation of reality

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    Bob Dignen suggests that one of the key elements of critical thinking is what he calls “the interrogation of reality”. He suggests that we should continually ask questions of each other in order to clarify the situation and to challenge each other’s ways of thinking. Let’s try this now. Imagine you are in a virtual meeting. First, you will hear a colleague make a statement. I’ll then suggest how you can question that statement. You ask the question in the pause. Then you will hear a model version. OK? Good. Here’s the first statement.

    1. Sales should increase in the next quarterQuartalquarter.
    Ask how safe it is to to assume sth.etw. annehmenassume that sales will increase then.
    > How safe is it to assume that sales will increase then?

    2. Next statement. It’s really good quality.
    Ask what the speaker means by “good quality”.
    > What do you mean by “good quality”?

    3. And the next statement. Delivery delays are one problem we are facing.
    Ask what other issueSachverhaltissues you should be considering.
    > What other issues should we be considering?

    4. Here’s the next statement. This is the latest data we have.
    Ask how reliablezuverlässigreliable the data is.
    > How reliable is the data?

    5. The next statement. This is the data from sales.
    Ask if there are any other data sourceQuellesources you can use.
    > Are there any other data sources we can use?

    6. Here’s another statement. That’s about a 15 per cent increase.
    Ask how sure they are that the figure is correct.
    > How sure are you that the figure is correct?

    7. The next statement. It’s a problem for us.
    Ask if there is an alternative way of looking at this.
    >  Is there an alternative way of looking at this?

    8. OK. Here’s the final statement. That’s my suggestion for how we should to proceedvorgehenproceed.
    Ask how to feel comfortable about sth.mit etw. zufrieden seincomfortable people feel about this approachVorgehensweise, Methodeapproach.
    > How comfortable do people feel about this approach?

    Well done. According to Bob Dignen, asking questions allows us to make the right connections and better deductions. The interrogation of our business reality is an important part of our critical thinking.

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