SIGNIFICANCE – Questions that focus on making thinking more significant include
- Is this the most important problem to consider?
- What is the most significant information we need to address this issue?
- Which of these questions is the most significant?
- Which of these facts are most important?
FAIRNESS – Questions that focus on ensuring that thinking is fair include:
- Is my thinking justified given the evidence?
- Am I taking into account the thinking of others?
- Are these assumptions justified?
- Is my purpose fair given the situation?
This paper stresses the importance and the role of Critical Thinking (also known as Critical Reflection) in the Process of Coaching Conversation. It reminds us that one of the roles of a Coach is to be a Client’s thinking partner. And that a good thinking partner helps the Client become a critical thinker.
The intention of Critical Thinking is to reach new and deeper understanding and, in doing so, to form a totally new basis from which to think and act.
The Coach asking Critical Reflection Questions enables the Client to think with more depth, greater clarity and less distortion.
Asking Critical Reflection Questions enhances the Client’s ability to examine their patterns of thinking and behavior, and to reconsider the underlying assumptions that precede actions.
Critical Thinking besides improving the client’s problem-solving and decision-making skills, also focuses on looking inward, reflecting on his thoughts, learning new frameworks, and establishing new thinking routines.
In the coaching conversation Critical Thinking helps Clients see themselves accurately, evaluate their situations and their opinions, examine their assumptions and thought processes, and utilize introspection and insight to achieve their goals. (Auerback, Jeffrey E.)
As a thinking partner the Coach supports the Client in his thinking process with powerful questioning. Questioning that will have a strong and helpful impact on the Client’s awareness, learning, behavior and moving forward.
To accomplish Client’s sustained cognitive, emotional, and behavioral changes the Coach also supports the Client helping him upgrade continually his Thinking.
Paul and Elder suggest that Thinking is upgraded by identifying and exploring the Eight Elements (or “parts”) of Thought: purpose; question/problem; assumptions; point of view; evidence; concepts; inferences and conclusions; implications and consequences).
A Coach upgrades the Client’s Thinking by asking (1) Questions related to Purpose; (2) Questions related to clarify what is bothering , for what Dilemas, Problems or Issues the Client wants to find an answer; (3) Questions to uncover and clarify the Assumptions or beliefs the Client is taking for granted; (4) Questions to uncover and clarify the Point of View the Client helds; (5) Questions to uncover and clarify DATA, INFORMATION and EVIDENCE; (6) Questions to uncover and clarify the Client’s Concepts and Ideas; (7) Questions to uncover and clarify the Inferences or Interpretations by which the Client draws Conclusions and gives meaning to data; (8) Questions to uncover and clarify the Implications and Consequences of Client’s reasoning.
According to Paul and Elder all the eight “parts” or elements of thoughts have to be: Clear, Accurate, Precise, Relevant, Deep, Broad, Logic, Significant, Fair.
Good Thinking has to meet Nine Universal Intellectual Standards: Clarity, Accuracy, Precision, Relevance, Depth, Breath, Logicalness, Significance, Fairness.
As the Client’s Thinking Partner, the Coach with his critical questioning helps the Client meet these good thinking standards, and therefore helps the Client upgrade his thinking.
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