Self Management – Lesson 6

Problem solving, Decision making and Creativity

Thinking skills

Solving problems and making decisions is part of normal daily living, whether at home, work or play as well as being the primary activity of managers. However the problems one has to deal with in those situations are usually more complex than the problems presented in the classroom or college. There may be many possible solutions, rather than one clear-cut solution, involving value judgments to decide the most appropriate solutions.

The development of cognitive skills (thinking Skills) is essential for solving problems. As mentioned in Lecture 4, Good cognitive skills should be the primary outcome of a higher education rather than the qualification obtained using mostly only the lowest level thinking skills.

The two basic types of thinking skills are;

  • Analytical thinking / Left-brain / Convergent
  • Creative thinking / Right-brain / Divergent

The mental approach for obtaining solutions is always determined by the nature of the problem but usually involves a combination of analytical and creative intuitive thought.