Six Wise Ways To Think Logically
by Jacquie Wise
I’m moving into a leadership position that requires me to think and plan at a higher level. That’s my weakness. How can I learn to think logically?
Hmn. That’s a big question, involving so many factors. Here are a few tricks I can suggest.
Do all your brainstorming in writing first. Even if a question is sprung on you at a meeting, you can usually predict the topics they’re likely to ask you about, so you can prepare information you could take with you to the meeting, just in case.
In any case, these suggestions will help you think logically as well as think on your feet.
- Move logically along a time lineAlways begin your planning with where you want to end up. With that end point in mind, work backwards in time to the steps that need to be accomplished one by one, to get you to where you want to end up. You’ll soon see if you’ve allowed enough time, realistically, to accomplish each step, with everything that’s involved to make it happen.
- Analyse the Force-Field
Force-Field analysis basically involves looking at what factors could improve a situation, and what factors would make it worse: the pros and cons.
Consider which is more likely to happen—which is the stronger force.For every option, consider:
> Potential cost (not only in monetary terms; but in terms of such factors as loss of key employees, or loss of reputation)
> Potential risks
> Potential benefits or rewards
- Plan for contingenciesTake into account as many WHAT IFs as you can think of. For example:
> what if it takes longer than we envisaged
> what if equipment breaks downs
> what if a key staff member/subcontractor isn’t available
> what if we encounter cost overruns
- Take into account the 5 W’sWho: Who will be responsible for which task? Who will be affected?
What: Consider different tasks/approaches/strategies/processes and what data you need to collect and analyse to predict opportunities.
When: Does this plan involve rescheduling/changing of priorities or sequence? Do you need to allow more/less time for certain stages?
Where: Is a change of location necessary? Which is the best location for each step?
Why: Negotiate values or priorities of all stakeholders. It’s also important to explain your reasons for your perspective and to explore the reasons for the positions of other stakeholders.
- Analyse the methods you will use for this projectHOW questions take into account methods, strategies or standards and how you might address potential problems.
How will we do this and how could we prevent or address potential problems?
- Keep your focus on your reader, customer or stakeholderAssess what would be most useful to them, what questions they might have that you could answer in advance, what would make it easier for them, and in what way could you provide a better service or meet their needs
If you’d like to discover more ways to think logically, contact me directly to arrange a convenient appointment time.
I’d love to know what you think of what I’ve said here. You can give me your feedback, ask a question by email or post a comment below.
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