Introduction Everything we do in life is determined by the quality of your thinking and the decision that it leads to. However, there exists a lack of awareness how one should think and make decisions. Absence of clear thinking will lead to failure both in personal and professional life. Decisions resulting from unclear thinking will lead to frustration, ineffectiveness, and financial loss and ultimately to failure. Critical Thinking is about becoming a better thinker in every aspect of life.

It will lead to perform more effectively both in personal and professional life by empowering oneself. It will ultimately lead to avoiding disastrous mistakes, and gaining clarity, and discovering new opportunities. Critical Thinking Critical thinking is a reasoning process in which individuals are expected to analyze their own thoughts, actions and decisions as well as those of others. The critical thinker is also expected to consider alternatives and makes an informed decision by applying reasoning and logic. It involves knowledge, acquisition of related information, application / analysis and evaluation of the collected information.

Before making the final decision, one is expected to thoroughly execute these steps and compare, contrast, examine the data before reaching the decisions. It encourages new and innovative ways of approaching situations in one's personal and professional life. Decision Making All of us are constantly faced with the need to make decisions. Some people put off making decisions because they " re afraid that their choices may not be the right ones, while others make snap decisions that are not based upon thoughtful consideration. We are always challenged to make good decisions- most of the time with limited information under serious time constraints.

Decision-making is central to human activity. Every human being is a decision-maker. We all make decisions, big or small, in day-to-day life. However, good decision-making will result only when critical-thinking is applied.

Decision-making is affected by various factors often making the process extremely complex and difficult. Quality decisions are a result of balancing quantitative and qualitative data, and personal judgment. Authors view on Critical Thinking and Decision Making In authors view, critical thinking is about the awareness of a set of interrelated critical questions, and the individual's ability to ask and answer critical questions at appropriate times, and desire to actively use the critical questions. Critical questioning provides a structure to critical thinking by supporting a continual, ongoing search for better opinions, decisions or judgments. It is a systematic evaluation of what one heard and read. In addition, the author states that critical thinkers are the ones who are able to control their emotions and personal opinions from taking over their reasoning ability.

And, critical thinkers are very open to ideas and will be willing to change their current beliefs. As for decision-making, the author states that figuring out what the problem is half the battle on decision making. The rest is to come out with a solution, which is the role of decision maker. In workplace, the authors say that the managers have to act and decide on highly diverse problems. He says as the managers in the work place today faced with more than one problem in hand at any point of time, it is important to identify the problem early before it gets worsen. This early detection helps in decision-making and avoids crisis situation.

The author states that the managers are prone to act more quickly on problems that look easy to solve and procrastinate over tackling issues that are ambiguous. He also discusses about the impact of politics and power on decision-making. He concludes that decision-making is not merely a thought process that balances goals and means, but also a political process that balances various power sectors. He concludes that the decision-making will take more time if it has to accommodate all the differences.

My views on Critical Thinking and Decision Making Critical thinking and decision-making are interrelated with critical thinking leading to effective decision making. Critical thinking can be described as qualities of good thinking processes and is generally considered to be involved with the creation or generation of ideas, processes, or objects. It is also concerned with their evaluation. In short, critical thinking helps to understand and evaluate view points, which in turn leads to effective decision making and problem solving. Relation between Critical Thinking and Decision Making Critical thinking is thinking that proceeds on the basis of careful evaluation of ideas and statistical data in order to reach an objective conclusion by considering all relevant information and applying logic.

Critical thinking is an effective process that facilitates the decision-making and helps to make quality decisions. Critical thinking is a fundamental cornerstone of all good business analysis and effective decision-making. Critical thinking is the crucial success factor that can separate the great achievers from average performer. Benefits of Critical Thinking Critical thinking when applied in workplace, will lead to new insights, fresh perspectives, and whole new ways of approaching a problem.

Nurturing good critical thinking skill in workplace will help to build a workforce that is open-minded, inquisitive in nature, and diligent in seeking relevant information. It helps to clearly understand and evaluate various communications and other sources of supporting information received in the workplace before making any decisions. In short, it builds effective decision makers when practiced in the workplace. Critical Thinking and Decision Making in My Workplace In my workplace, managers make and act on tough decisions with speed, a sense of urgency, tenacity and use critical thinking in every decision they make.

They seek input to the decision-making process as needed to make excellent decisions. The speed of our business, new technologies and global competition place a premium on rapid and effective decision-making. At the same time, information overload, multiple priorities and a turbulent environment make the process ever more difficult. In our industry, opportunities can appear and disappear just as quickly and data can soon become obsolete. Hence, speed of decision making and implementing it is very important.

Concluding Thoughts In conclusion, we are all required to solve problems and make decisions daily-whether to invest, how to market a product, which candidate to hire. The ability to make good decisions is the fundamental skill for managers in all businesses or organizations. It is only through their critical decision-making that managers exercise control over their successes or failures. And, developing that skill is a critical part of management and forms the basis for success. Reference M.

Neal Brown, Stuart M. Keeley, Morgan W. McCall, Jr. , and Robert E. Kaplan. Readings in Critical Thinking, [University of Phoenix e-text].

Needham Heights, MA. Pearson Custom Publishing, 2001 Critical Thinking - What it is and why it counts. Retrieved September 9, 2003 from World Wide Web: web.