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The Art of Thinking Slow

TalkShop Art of ThinkingToday is the age of instant noodles.

Everything has to be fast and easy if not readily available. Even our way of thinking has been conditioned to choose convenience over logic, which would explain why the last thing you ate probably violated your New Year’s resolution or how your last purchase didn’t make it to your list of top decisions this year. More often than not we make decisions faster than we can text and what’s worse is we can’t remember why we made those decisions in the first place. The question is “Why?”

Daniel Kahneman talked about two modes of thinking in his book “Thinking Fast and Slow.” Majority are accustomed to System 1: Fast Thinking, especially since we need this to walk, sleep, and appropriately respond in meetings as we pretend to listen. We don’t have to think too hard in this mode and can behave like any textbook employee. The problem with this is by depending on Fast Thinking to get us through the day, we fail to exercise the other mode, System 2: Slow Thinking.

To emphasize how important Slow Thinking is, ask yourself, “How many dwarves does Cinderella have?” Fast Thinking will tell you she has seven while Slow Thinking will tell you Cinderella has only mice, it’s Snow White who has dwarves.

Another way to emphasize the difference between Fast and Slow Thinking is by answering this question: “If a plane crashes on the border between US and Mexico, where would you bury the survivors?” Fast Thinking will tell you either US or Mexico while Slow Thinking will tell you it’s inappropriate to bury survivors.

When you take the time to think slowly, you’ll realize how ridiculous your initial answers are. It may seem bothersome to take a moment to pause before speaking, but in organizations where clients demand the best service and the boss doesn’t tolerate slip-ups, Slow Thinking will save you from conceivable danger while Fast Thinking is bound to get you in trouble.

Today, Slow Thinking is more commonly referred to as Critical Thinking while others prefer to call it Common Sense. Whether you have it or not isn’t a question; everyone has it, but many fail to use it. What is sad and true is that if you don’t use it, you’ll lose it. At TalkShop, we recognize that Slow thinking is an art and skill that allows us to probe information, reflect on ideas, and come up with targeted solutions. The best time to master this art is now. The best way harness this skill is to engage in meaningful activities, focus on relevant learning, and tackle challenging opportunities.

Posted by TalkShop
Sheila Viesca, TalkShop CEO and Director of Communication finished her bachelor degree in Literature, masters in Entrepreneurship, and doctorate in Applied Cosmic Anthropology. She designed the Philippines' Language Competency Benchmark for the Department of Education and pioneered Integrated Language Teaching (ILT) in workshop designs and corporate communication training. You can follow her on Facebook, Youtube, Twitter, LinkedIN, and Google+

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