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​Thirty Seconds to Critical Thinking

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I’ve already talked about this specific issue a number of times. But, today, I read an article that shows just how easy it is to apply basic critical thinking skills — and how little time it actually takes.

First, a quick rehashing of one of my previous sermons. CAEs seem to unanimously agree that the top skill needed for any internal auditor is critical thinking. Makes sense — without critical thinking applied to the audit process we are doing nothing more than crunching numbers, pushing papers, and wasting everyone’s time.

Second, one of the best ways to become better at critical thinking is to apply it to all aspects of our lives. Don’t just focus on how critical thinking is applied in your work; think about how you use it when you read, when you watch television, when you sit in a movie theater, when you are surfing the net.

Third, (specifically to that whole internet thing), use critical thinking before you blithely share that factoid that is so delectable (and always agrees with the way you think) it makes you repeatedly hit the share button like a white mouse who reached the end of the maze and wants to know where the cheese is.

Repeating what I’ve said a number of times, it absolutely perplexes me how people I know — good, solid, intelligent internal auditors — can share information as gospel truth that is either patently fake or, with just a couple of seconds of introspection and/or review,​can be proved to be wrong.

And that gets to the point of this article by Mike Caufield I referred to above. He talks about how easy it is to fact check information before buying in and (probably more detrimental) sharing. A few seconds of research, a few clicks, a few reviews of sources, and you can verify almost anything you see “virussing” its way across the internet.

Stop and think. Spend the time to actually use those critical thinking muscles. And do your part to share only that information that has a chance of actually being true.

Because, ultimately, if I can’t count on you to take 30 seconds to make sure something is correct, how am I supposed to believe anything you tell me in your audit work.

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