How do you encourage your team to critically think?
Critical thinking will be among the most important skills in the future workplace. A recent World Economic Forum article placed this skill second only to “critical problem solving.” The two are related.
The ability to question assumptions, to challenge designs, to drill down, to take ownership, to suggest alternatives will become more important as the questions we seek to answer become more complex.
As leaders one way we can encourage it is through properly packaged delegation.
Here’s the thing: If we want critical thinking, we have to be willing to delegate the thinking.
Delegating the thinking will only work, though, when we package it correctly.
On the front end:
What is the context of the project? What is the overall goal? What will a great solution do? What are the constraints? What are the controlling variables? What do we want?
On the back end:
What went well? What isn’t working? Why isn’t it working? What were the challenges? Where did you get stuck? How did you handle X?
The packaging is the relevant and real time conversation around their thinking. We want to challenge their thinking. We want them to challenge ours.
Package what you delegate. You will get more out of it.