Many leaders are in a position where they tell employees what to do and that’s the end of the thinking process. A less-explored approach involves critical thinking, which is where you give employees the opportunity to arrive at their own insights rather than being dependent on you. Here are some ideas on how
to practice both leadership approaches, with and without critical thinking:
How to Practice Leadership without Thinking
- Tell people what to do.
- Supervise them constantly.
- Micromanage them.
- Dole out information only in small amounts.
- Give a lot of orders.
- Take the lead on everything.
- Ask for employees’ input but always go with your ideas.
- Remind people that you make all the decisions.
- Criticize instead of praise.
- Marvel at what a wonderful leader you are.
How to Practice Leadership that Encourages Critical Thinking
- Encourage your employees to decide where to start working on any given project.
- Assume people are smart enough to do it.
- Let them know you’re available if they have any questions or need any resources.
- Encourage them to come up with their own approach to completing the project.
- Allow people to share their insights about how the project went and make adjustments.
Inspirational leadership is about allowing people to think creatively and autonomously rather than being dependent on you. Employees who think for themselves are better prepared to deal with workplace challenges and contribute to building a healthy workplace. What will you do to encourage more critical thinking in your organization?