Help Direct Reports To Become Better Thinkers

More and more leaders are realizing their competitive edge lies with their talent.  And with their talent, they realize the greatest opportunity for growth is to develop their critical thinking skills.

Leaders must first create a safe environment for people to make mistakes and to admit thinking errors.  If this isn’t accomplished, people may feel afraid of embarrassment, humiliation, and perhaps even loss of professional status.

Once people feel comfortable explaining their thinking process, the leader can coach them on their critical thinking.  The leader’s first impulse will be to correct the direct report, provide the proper solution, and move on.  Providing the solution and explaining the rationale rarely works to develop cognition.  The successful leader should ask questions to encourage the direct report to exercise that brain muscle and develop better critical thinking strength.  Some questions leaders may ask to coach for better critical thinking include:

  • “How did you come to that conclusion?”
  • “What are the facts that led you to that conclusion?”
  • “What other options have you considered?”
  • “What would happen next?”
  • “Have you considered your bias?”

Leaders who empower their direct reports to learn from mistakes develop them to become successful critical thinkers.

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Explore posts in the same categories: Leadership, Performance Acceleration

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