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Beware of the 8 Barriers to Thinking

By Peter Jeff
The Leadership Mints Guy

Here’s an idea to help you enhance your ability to think. Reading time: 2:16.

The Titanic’s Grand Staircase

     It is logical and oh so wrong.

     A survey showed that 90 percent of accidents on staircases involved either the top or bottom stair. Therefore, the computer logically concluded:  to reduce accidents just eliminate the top and bottom stairs.

         Of course humans can factor into their thinking process more than a computer’s Ones and Zeros, either/or binary decision-making. And as a leader you regularly factor in so many other variables in the gray zone of complexity between the black and white number crunching that would eliminate the two key steps that would nullify the functionality of the entire staircase.

        To help you continue to sharpen your decision-making process beyond the classic seven-step problem-solving process: (1) Collection, (2) Selection, (3) Investigation, (4) Determination, (5) Inspection, (6) Execution and (7) Evaluation, let’s examine the eight barriers to effective THINKING.

       Think of the word THINKING to remember these eight barriers to effective thinking.

Think of the Word THINKING

         T – Tunnel vision:

We limit our scope to only the urgent not the important.

       H-  History:

We tend to base our future action on past experience.

         I – Information Overload:

We tend to keep looking for more and more information.

        N – Numbers :

  We’re too quick to play the odds of what to focus on.

        K- Knowledge:

We react only to what we already know.

            I- Inundated:

We’re too busy to take the time to think.

          N – Notation:

We’re too quick to act on the last thing we noted, saw or read.

            G -Generalize

We tend to jump to conclusions from a small sample.

        The most insidious of these eight barriers is information overload.  Like a dog gnawing on a bone, we can fool ourselves into thinking that chewing on the same thing over and over again nourishes without digestion.  Then we parlay that information to make our decisions for us –not by us. “Data don’t make decisions, people do,” noted Harvard professor Ellen Langer in her book Mindfulness. “Decision-making is independent of data gathering.”

        Leaders make decisions strategically after  jumping over these eight barriers to effective THINKING.

Today’s ImproveMINT

Break through the information gathering barriers to keep your leadership thinking in mint condition.

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