Critical thinking is a process by which a thinker can improve the quality of their thinking through a process. It involves a series of process, that actively and skillfully conceptualizing, evaluating, applying, and analyzing information to reach an answer or a conclusion. This allows the reader to process the information received to come to a reasonable conclusion based on a reasoned process. This process involve the utilization of the ten step methodology presented in Browne and Keeley’s book called “Asking the Right Questions”.These steps are used to achieve a clearer understanding of the issues being evaluated. In this paper, I will be using Browne and Keeley’s ten step methodology presented in “Asking the right questions” to analyze the memo title “Leadership Development Program” writing by Mr.
Anil Ravaswami to Ms. Cynthia Castle (CEO of Cliffside Holding Company of Massapequa CHCM). I will be analyzing the memo by going through each steps of the critical thinking model. This is to show my level of understanding of the intended messages being conveyed by Mr. A. Ravaswami’s memo.
Critical Thinking: Leadership-Development Programs In Browne and Keeley’s book “Asking the Right Question”, Browne and Keeley discuss what the characteristics of an active reader or listener is. Browne and Keeley indicated that an active reader or listener is one who possesses the ability to utilize the search strategy, which explains or reveal an in depth answers to the question asked by the writer. These involves a process of asking certain powerful questions in order to reach a personal decision based off of an author’s argument. These powerful questions are what Browne and Keeley refer to as “Asking the Right Questions. These are the questions:(1) What are the issues and conclusion? (2) What are the reasons? (3) Which words or phrases are ambiguous? (4) What are the value and descriptive assumptions? (5) Are there any fallacies in the reasoning? (6) How good is the evidence? (7) Are there rival causes? (8) Are the statistics deceptive? (9) What significant information is omitted? (10) What reasonable conclusions are possible? In order, carefully examine the author’s issues, these ten critical thinking question must be asked and answered, and used to understand the concept of what it mean to be a critical thinker.
The ten steps of asking the right questions presented by Browne and Keeley will be used to analyze Mr. A. Ravaswami’s memo.Step 1: What are the issues and conclusion? Evaluating the author’s argument requires that one must first clearly identify the issue and conclusion (Browne & Keeley, 2012). In the memo presented by Mr.
A. Ravaswami discusses the concept of why the need to establish a leadership development program. After all, the company has being in business for over 50year, with and average growth of 12% per annum (Ravaswami, 2012).The issue in this memo is that the executive of CHCM should establish and fund a leadership development program for its junior insurance executive. The conclusion is that CHCM should not spend or invest any money in the proposed concept to send its junior executive to this leadership training. A closer look at the memo, using Browne and Keeley’s key attributes mentions in the first question.
As you will notice, that the memo does tend to shift towards a personal issue. This is to show that Ravaswami’s memo does present a more critical issue that challenges the idea of morality. This is to show that the memo falls underneath both the descriptive issue and the prescriptive issue present by Browne and Keeley on page 20 of “Asking the right questions”.Step 2: What are the reasons?The reason behind Ravaswami’s conclusion, is that in 50 years, CHCM leader have been able to keep the company successful. This is without the aid of leadership development program; as a result, CHCM should not invest in the proposed program.
In addition to his reason, he argues that this program will be a waste of money. Because the company will not be financially capable to handle such a large amount of money, and as a result, the recruiting department will lack of funding. He further give more reason to his argument explaining that leaders are born, not made and by sending does who are not born leaders to leadership development program will be a total waste of money. In addition, the request for expensive training will start to develop, which the company can simply not afford.
Step 3: Which word or phrase are ambiguous?Ravaswami utilizes a series of word and (or) phrases that are ambiguous. The existence of ambiguity is evident in Ravaswami’s memo. Ravaswami uses several word like prosperous, rich, physical disposition, liberal, leadership traits etc. which are word that are ambiguous.
These words to me could mean several things. For example, the word rich, which he used in a phrase. Stating “leaders are born into this world accompanied by a rich, psychical disposition, which furnishes him ready-made all his motivations of conduct” (Ravaswami, 2012).This is an ambiguous statement because the italicized words itself are unclear to the reasoning for what Ravaswami’s argue for, whereby making the phrase ambiguous.
Also using one’s height as a justification of once ability to be a great leader was ambiguous. He states “I’ve also noted that a tall physical stature is possessed by leaders” (Ravaswami, 2012). Having tall physical stature doesn’t make a person successful nor leaders.Step 4: What are the values and descriptive assumptions?It seems as do Ravaswami values his current position as VP of Human Resources; as a result, feel as do Ms. Forsythe has a personal agenda to discredit him. It is clear that there is a descriptive assumption here and that Ravaswami thinks that the personal or self-interests of Mr.
Forsythe has surpassed the true value of What CHCM is trying to achieve. He believes as do that Mr. Forsythe opinion may have been shaped by the notion of being competitive, and has lose the creative success for cooperation. As a result, Ravaswami developed his own value assumption of the training program.If the company was to provide such training, there are no evidence that the program will yield any great leaders or be of benefit. The program will not be of benefit to the company in all aspect.
The money spent on the program will put the company in financial difficulty. Leader are not manufactured but are born. So the program will do no good to CHCM There are no ways to justify good candidates for the program. Whereby the program will be considered a waste of time.
Step 5: Are there any fallacies in the reasoning?Ravaswami’s memo indicate that the reasoning is fallacy. This is because the reason is not relevant to the conclusion (Browne & Keeley, 2012). Ravaswami gave several reason why leadership development program will not work for CHCM. But in his conclusion he made a personal attack on the Ms. Forsythe by saying that she only proposed the program to spite him.
As her personal agenda was to discredit him, which was her motive to advocate for such training program. Rather than attacking Ms. Forsythe reason for advocating for the leadership development program, Ravaswami decided to attack her personal. This indicates there are Ad Hominem fallacies in Ravaswami reasoning.Step 6: How good is the evidence?If we consider the depth of the evidence provided any argument. Or the significance of the supporting detail, we can say that the information is debatable just link in any argument.
Looking at the evidence provided by Ravaswami, and you will noticed that the evidence are flawed. And also that his evidence did leave room for which one can use to discredit them. For example, the survey in which he performed amongst her work was not detailed enough to show the actual credibility of the survey. The survey could have been rigged or altered to make the intended reader believe the intended conclusion.
Also, he posed evidence that the recruiting process will lack funding if the money is spent on the leadership program. But he failed to provide any supporting detail as to the financial stability of the CHCM. This is to show that even with the evidence provided by Ravaswami, he failed to provide substantial evidence that cannot be discredited. As a result, he did not provide good evidence to support his reasons.Step 7: Are there rival causes?The capability of not being able fund the recruitment money may be caused by CHCM deciding to spend the money on other adventure of the company.
Rather than saying that the leadership development program will deplete the company finances and leave no room for recruiting new employees. This can still have happened regardless, as a result, it invalidates that notion. So there are rival causes that could result in Ravaswami reason and conclusion.Step 8: Are the statistics deceptive? (If present)Ravaswami provide statistic saying that all but one person in the senior staff agreed with the notion that the leadership program is not worth the company interest. This survey is deceptive as he has no evidence that the survey was performed under proper condition. Also to corroborate his conclusion, he argues that tall physical stature is possessed by leaders.
These statistics that were provided by the Journal of Applied Psychology and the Leadership Quarterly, which indicated the presidents that are tall but does not elaborate on other heights. This is to show that the Ravaswami’s memo was deceptive.Step 9: What significant information is omitted?It is clear to say that Mr. A. Ravaswami attempted to argue his points logically as to why his reason for rejecting the notions of leadership development program.
By not allowing readers to challenge his notion of reasoning. Mr. Ravaswami chooses to omit the true reasoning behind his rejection of the training program. It is evident that there are personal objection reasons.
Step 10: What reasonable conclusions are possible?I could only think of a few reasonable conclusion. Which are: Mr. Ravaswami believed that there was not relative fact that the program will. He doesn’t believe in the notion that leadership skill can be learned.
The cost of training someone who is not leadership material is a waste of money to the company The money spent on training to could be spent on other aspects of the company.There are many reasonable conclusions that can arise from critical analyzing this memo. One can always that Mr. A Ravaswami’s reason for advocating for no leadership development program has a lot to with his values.