By: Angie Falls

I find myself in the position to attend some introduction days at Universities. After attending 2 and 2 to go I realized I needed to change my behavior concerning knowledge. I felt that I had to put more effort in appreciating knowledge and knowledge sources.

The first step I took was reorganizing my library. While performing that activity I discovered that there were many books that I had to read again. Books that I had collected the past 32 years. The same methodology and core principles are still applied in my life and work. Time to refresh and pour this knowledge in my mind.

In one of the sessions at the University, the topic anthropology was so fascinating that I started taking notes. Notes of theory which I needed to study to apply in my profession.

The skill that stuck with me to investigate is critical thinking. The earliest documentation of critical thinking are the teachings of Socrates recorded by Plato.

Critical thinking is the objective analysis of facts to form a judgment.

The subject is complex, and several different definitions exist, which generally include the rational, skeptical, unbiased analysis, or evaluation of factual evidence. Critical thinking is self-directed, self-disciplined, self-monitored, and self-corrective thinking. It presupposed assent to rigorous standards of excellence and mindful command to their use.

Someone with critical thinking skills can:

  • Understand the links between ideas.
  • Determine the importance and relevance of arguments and ideas.
  • Recognize, build and appraise arguments.
  • Identify inconsistencies and errors in reasoning.
  • Approach problems in a consistent and systematic way.

It entails effective communication and problem-solving abilities, as well as a commitment to overcome our native egocentrism and sociocentrism.

Further reading on egocentrism was useful.

Egocentrism is the inability to differentiate between self and other. More specifically, it is the inability to untangle subjective schemas from objective reality and an inability to understand or assume any perspective other than one’s own.

Stretching this to my corporate life there are many situation that I feel are evolved on this very principal.

When there are discussions between employees I often sense a power struggle to emphasize their own view leaving no room for the other person’s perspective. There is always tendency of aggression.

To understand why people would communicate violently I started a training in non-violent communication of Marshall Rosenberg.

What is Nonviolent Communication?

Nonviolent Communication is the integration of 4 things:

  • Consciousness: a set of principles that support living a life of compassion, collaboration, courage, and authenticity
  • Language: understanding how words contribute to connection or distance
  • Communication: knowing how to ask for what we want, how to hear others even in disagreement, and how to move toward solutions that work for all
  • Means of influence: sharing “power with others” rather than using “power over others

Now I can start my discovery learning path. There were yet many instances of communication for me to improve and to get better skilled at.

It turned out to be very difficult if you are ego driven.

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