In this publication we begin to focus on improving your Critical Thinking Skills as pioneered by Edward De Bono:
Many times we make important decisions based on emotions, rather impulsively, in anger, without proper advice or without sufficient information, particularly, without doing a proper deep thought processing, which involves and requires:
(PMI)

  1. P – What are the positive aspects of this decision?
  2. M – What are the minuses, negatives or downsides of this decision?
  3. I – Interesting, what are the “it doesn’t matter anyway one way or the other and what are some novel, fresh ideas/viewpoints that come out of this decision or analysis?”

You will also be introduced to doing (CAF) – Consider All Factors along with (C&S) Consequences of an action or decision, with the immediate, short, medium and long term consequences.

Here we give two examples, then we ask you to do your own (PMI), (CAF) and (C&S) on important issues for you e.g. “What degree should I pursue?” “An assessment of your life: short, medium and long term”. “An idea you have for a business opportunity”. “An important decision you have to or want to make e.g. a purchase, career change, relationship change.” How to prepare for an effective career with upwards mobility and finally get your dream job.

P.M.I. (Plus, Minus, Interesting)

Example A:

What Do You Think Of The Suggestion That Everyone Should Wear A Badge Showing His Or Her Mood?

(Plus)

  • Can know when to discuss certain points with that person so as to minimize conflict and get the required response. Be a great help to management in scoring the number of bad/good mood badges per employee per year and correlate this with his/her productivity.
  • Can identify persons possibly requiring psychotherapy or cognitive restructuring.
  • Can be useful to sales managers to determine when sales motivation is required for his/her entire
    team.

(Minus)

  • Invasion of privacy of our thoughts/mood.
  • Very costly.
  • Can be used by persons in charge to manipulate the badge wearer. E.g. to get what he/she wants when person is in good mood.
  • Can be a serious deterrent to negotiations e.g. peace process, since it sets the tone/mood for the overall negotiations for that day.

(Interesting)

  • Possibly enhance communication among people.
  • Can demonstrate to people the relationship between their mood and success, productivity, self-efficiency and even self-esteem.

Example B:

Should Every Child Adopt A Senior Citizen To Look After?

(Plus)

  • Learn the importance of caring for our senior citizens, thereby increasing their (children’s Moral Compass and values).
  • Understand the problems senior citizens face daily and become more tolerant and understanding.
  • Have/get the opportunity to learn from the vast experiences of that senior citizen, by regular conversation, advice, conceptual approaches.

(Minus)

  • Very time consuming.
  • Children may not be too keen and may even ill treat the senior citizen.
  • Children may not be able to provide the environment (caring, physical, and economic) to take care of that citizen

(Interesting)

  • Maybe it would be an excellent educational setting and opportunity for both child and senior citizen to learn about the young generation on one hand, and to impart experience and meta-cognitive skills to the children on the others.
  • Maybe children can be socialized to the importance of love, caring, compassion, etc.

C.A.F.(Consider All Factors)

Example A:

Choosing A Newspapers

  • How does it’s price compare with others?
  • Are the sources reliable and balanced – who owns it?
  • Who are the main contributors of article?
  • How extensive and high is its circulation?
  • Does it focus on national or local news?
  • Can I get home delivery?
  • Is it a convenient size to read at the breakfast table?
  • Does it focus on only certain subject matter like financial times or is it general.
  • Who is their target group? Am I in that group?
  • Who recommends or recommended this newspaper? Why?
  • Will this newspaper give me all the information that I need to know, am interested in, and in an unbiased manner?
  • Are the subscription and payment schedules convenient?
  • What are the qualifications and experience of the various journalists and editor?

C&S (Consequences of an Action or Decision)

EXAMPLE A:
Office Work Can be done At Home VIA Computer Terminals.

Immediate Consequences (up to one year):

  • Great increase in sales of computers and accessories with probable decrease in unit price.
  • Major reorganization and revamping of management styles and corporate structure to cope with management at a distance.
  • Possibly (most likely) concomitant increase in the sale of facsimile machines to minimize the gap between home and office and to have increased efficiency of communication.
  • Great decrease in the purchase and use of cars and drastic drop in traffic jams. Employees claim that they are happier with this arrangement.

Short-term Consequences (1-5 years):

  • Prices of commercial real estate office property will plummet.
  • There will be major job losses in the transportation industry (air, train, bus, taxi, car, etc.) and in the food industry (restaurants, hotels, etc).
  • A new version of portable home computers will be launched and it will be: more powerful, have more memory; have a built-in Fax, photocopier, telephone, and television screen.
  • New series of software will be created and launched.
  • Stocks and shares in the electronic/telecommunication industry will rise exponentially.
  • Business would have considerable difficulties in adjusting to and/or creating a new management style and corporate structure.

Medium-term Consequences (5-20 years)

  • The real estate market (office – commercial) would have been decimated with only the manufacturing/industrial market in tact. There would also be a boom in the sale of homes with a den or office.
  • Unable to withstand the severe economic depression, the transportation and food industries in particular would be in economic shambles.
  • Businesses may become more productive and efficient, as they would have learned to cope with the change. Employees would be presumably happier since they would be less stressed out and use the time saved in traveling to and from work to get more “office work” done.
  • The enormous health-center costs (bills) spent by government should decrease considerably as persons should be healthier due to:
    • Less stress at the workplace.
    • Less pollution (traffic jams).
    • Less accidents on the road due to less travel.

Long-term Consequences (over 20 years)

  • There may be more family conflicts as people find it either difficult or impossible to separate family home time from office home time.
  • People may end up being more stressed out as they are more likely to work longer hours. On the other hand, the reverse is possible.
  • There would be a general economic depression in spite of the savings from the health care industry.
  • Due to increasing isolation from the workplace and colleagues, quality of work may suffer.
  • There may be an increase in psychopathology, increase in number of offspring’s (due to more time at home together) and lack of employee/employer commitment and loyalty – resulting in decreased profits to the company – thus setting the stage for more job losses (even to those at home).

-By Dr. Ranjie Singh