How to develop your "Critical Thinking"


Essential Business Documents

How to develop your "Critical Thinking"

The ability to be critical about your own work + seek feedback from others is essential for both the iterative development of innovative solutions for clients + your professional development. The idea that you stop creating after completing version 1 of your work has no place in #NewLaw. An open + honest feedback loop is required in order for significant improvements to be made.

James D. Ford Esq.

Founder & [iC]℠ a.k.a Outside General Counsel

The Norm in #NewLaw

There is no finish line... Introducing Iterative Development

"There is no finish line …" is a NIKE slogan I recall from many years ago.

I think it fits nicely with the idea that there is always room for improvement.

For both New Lawyers + NewLaw I trust we all agree that this is the case.

If you are used to the idea of completing something and moving on to the next task... this concept can be both confusing + confronting, as I assume it does not match with what you have been trained to do at school/university unless you have studied iterative development.

For many students, you have been taught that once a project/assignment has been handed in, that's it, you are done!

This is not the case when you are developing innovative client solutions, like a chatbot, or a quiz, an FAQ, or a blog article.

What do you do when you finish your work and your colleague says, OK, good job. Nice one!

Then you are told to continue work… with no clear instructions regarding what needs to be changed.

Maybe you have some cryptic comment like the following:

This a great opportunity for your to develop your "Critical Thinking"!

Hang on, you might say, I am already finished here!

You could wrongly conclude that your colleague is unhappy with your work, and have no idea why?

What do you do, when you think there is nothing more to do?

Brainstorming Critical Thinking Questions

The following list is my initial draft list of helpful questions (in no particular order) that may help you if you get stuck wondering what to do next:

✅ Have I fully tested my bot/quiz/etc.? Does it have any bugs?

✅ Is this the best I can do? How can I make it better?

✅ If I pretend I am the client, what is the user experience like for me?

✅ Who can I ask for independent feedback?

✅ When you do have some results, you can ask whether clients are repeatedly encountering the same issues? Do you notice any patterns?

✅ Wait overnight.. Go back the next day and take another fresh look...

✅ Have I explained the legal position clearly?

✅ Can I use a tool like Grammarly to improve the readability?

✅ Is the legal position correct in all Australian jurisdictions?

✅ Are there any exceptions, I have not mentioned or not linked to?

✅ Consider the phrase: WYSINATI - What you see is not all there is ...

Then ask, do I need to do some more research? what am i missing here?

✅ Is my message/content persuasive?

✅ Am I biased? Have I jumped to any conclusions? Why might the opposite be true?

✅ Is there an opportunity to soft-launch my bot/quiz/etc. to gain more feedback before launching to the world?

To help with your analysis please read our blog articles:

The Gentle Art of Persuasion ➲ Written Submissions?

Born Biased ➲ Our Tendency to Jump to Conclusions

Have I really thought deeply about this?

If you still are stuck.

Please consider that the way your mind works is that unless you engage and take control of your thinking, your mind will automatically select the easiest way to proceed.

This means that your mind will adopt your first impression, your intuition, which does not always lead to correct outcomes.

Try these quick quizzes. Do not try to solve them instead listen to your intuition:

The Bat and Ball Quiz

A bat and ball cost $1.10
The bat costs one dollar more than the ball.
How much does the ball cost?

A number came to your mind.

That number of course, is 10: 10 cents.

The Machines Quiz

If it take 5 machines 5 minutes to make 5 widgets, how long would it take 100 machines to make 100 widgets?
100 minutes or 5 minutes?

Click here to scroll down to the bottom of this article to view the correct answers.

Social Sharing Image: Courtesy of Nejc Soklič on Unsplash

Credits: This blog article was written by James D. Ford GAICD | Principal Solicitor, Blue Ocean Law Group℠.

Important Notice:

This blog article is intended for general interest + information only.

It is not legal advice, nor should it be relied upon or used as such.

We recommend you always consult a lawyer for legal advice specifically tailored to your needs & circumstances.

The Bat and Ball Quiz

If the ball costs 10 cents (your intuitive answer), then the total cost will be $1.20 (10 cents for the ball and $1.10 for the bat).

The Correct Answer: 5 cents.

Solution: Ball 5 Cents + (Bat costs $1 more than the ball, that is $1.05) = $1.10

The Machines Quiz

The Correct Answer: 5 minutes.

Source: "Thinking, Fast and Slow" pp. 44, 65 by Daniel Kahneman (Winner of the Nobel Prize).