According to Ennis a critical thinker is open-minded and mindful of alternatives; tries to be well-informed; judges well the credibility of sources; identifies conclusions, reasons, and assumptions; judges well the quality of an argument, including the acceptability of its reasons, assumptions, and evidence; can well develop and defend a reasonable position; asks appropriate clarifying questions; formulates plausible hypotheses and plans experiments well; defines terms in a way appropriate for the context; draws conclusions when warranted, but with caution; and integrates all items in this list when deciding what to believe or do. He also state that critical thinkers are liable to care that their belief be true and that their decisions be justified, care to present a position honestly and clearly and care about the dignity and worth of every person.
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Critical Thinking is a common component of organisation mission statement and outcome assessment. Alexander Court Care Centre “mission is to provide the best possible care for our Service Users by developing in the Care Centre an atmosphere of individual care and attention that will contribute to Service Users’ security, well-being and comfort such that they are enabled to enjoy life to their fullest potential.” (ACCC Quality Manual Issue 1 2006). To effectively provide the best quality care to the Client, skills and strategies of the manager is important to achieve the goal. Critical thinking is involved in insuring the health and safety of all the staff, clients, family and visitors in the organisation.
Critical thinking is important in healthcare settings like for instance, in a day – to – day responsibilities of a manager like taking a lot of data or information to adapt knowledge for problem clarification and solution which involves in making decisions. There is one case where in our Manager received a complaint from the family of a Service User about negligence of the staff due to short staffing. She considered many things in relation to her decision like the values and belief of the organisation. Thorough investigation was done to solve the case. The Manager called a meeting and listened to both side’s views and reasons. In this case critical thinking is essential to establish whether the information or assessment obtained from both sides has been accurately gathered. Health care team needs critical thinking skills to thoroughly investigate and reflect on all aspects of observation or problem in order to decide the necessary course of action.
In the current climate of short staffing, cost cutting and high expectations for quality care, skills in critical thinking is necessary to act upon organisational and systems problems, because failure to act on these problems may result in poor quality care, high accident, poor clients satisfaction, complaints from clients and their families and company’s bad reputation or credibility.
Managers in the organisation should have skilled in higher level of thinking and reasoning abilities to deal effectively with higher demands and greater accountability. Manager who can think critically are able to adapt easily to changing environment, and understand the assumed values and logical processes that underlie the tasks and decisions that they make. They are more equipped to create and accept change and innovation, which is more important for today’s organisation.
BE ABLE TO CRITICALLY ASSESS OWN BELIEFS, ATTITUDES AND VALUE SYSTEMS.
In this section is going to explain the difference between beliefs, attitudes and values which I reflect to our organisation and assess critically the impact of these in my own behavior. Beliefs, attitudes and values are an important of our everyday lives. They tend to shape our thoughts, perceptions and feelings about the environment around us.
Difference between beliefs, attitudes and values.
As human beings, we have our own set of beliefs, attitudes and values being followed from the start that picture who we are and how we view the world. Being a manager, working with staff and clients with different beliefs, attitudes and values need to be aware and prepared to adopt the professional values and not impose our own views on our staff or client.
Beliefs are the assumptions we make ourselves, about others in the world and about how we expect things to be. (1000ventures.com, 2001). Individuals or Clients have their own personal beliefs that influence all aspect of their daily lives like for example the way they dress, it can be influenced by religious beliefs and social or cultural and customs. Every individual don’t always agree with each other about different values and belief, however, we should think critically that this is the way they brought up by their ancestors, so we have to respect their beliefs.
Attitudes are the established ways of responding to people and situations that we have learned, based on the beliefs, values and assumptions we hold. Our attitude become manifest through our behavior.(1000ventures.com, 2001). If we have good attitude about something, we typically have good results like in the workplace in dealing with clients we should treat them as if they are our family because I always bear in mind that if my family is in their place. On the other hand, if we have negative attitude some people around us will complaint that will cause us not to feel good about ourselves.
Values are about how we have learnt to think things ought to be or people ought to behave, especially in terms of qualities such as honesty, integrity and openness. (1000ventures.com, 2001). For us to be able to develop critical thinking, we should possess certain morale values, ethical behavior and positive mental attitude towards our work or co-worker so as to help to come up with a right decision and logical reasoning.
As an aspiring manager, it is good practice to think own attitudes, beliefs and values and take it into consideration in making decision. To evaluate the various problems in the workplace I should have a better understanding of basic logic and the process of critical thinking because they are essential in making good decision and building casual relationships. Like for instance, in dealing with conflict between staff, I should weigh the problem by assessing and evaluating the pros and cons of the conflict and in making decision I should critically think and arrived in a good decision that will not be bias to both sides. When argument between staff is present, I should deal with it calmly in an assertive and professional way.
1.2 Critically assess the impact of beliefs, attitudes and values on own behaviour.
According to Kolb’s Learning Cycle, it is not sufficient to have an experience in order to learn; it is necessary to reflect on experience, draw on our knowledge base and identify new ideas and concepts, which can then be applied to new situations. He also stresses that, without reflection, we would simply continue to repeat our mistakes.
Our beliefs grow from what we see, hear, experience, read and think about. From these things we develop an opinion that we hold to be true. From our beliefs we derive our values, which can either be correct or incorrect when compared with evidence, however hold true for us. Our beliefs and values can also be strengthened by experience or evidence. For example, one of our Clients needs blood transfusion but her daughter who is a Jehovah Witness refused it, but her mother is between life and death. She said blood transfusion is against their religion; however she wanted to prolong her mother’s life. So she agreed with the doctor and her mother recovered. It is possible for our beliefs and values to differ overtime when we encounter such experiences that challenge our previously held views in life. Some people believe a miracle from God; however others might have their belief in the essential goodness of human beings especially if they have a terrible experience.
In the care setting the way you provide care with the Service User reflects your own attitude, belief and values. For example base on my experience, I treat the Service User as if they are my family because the values that I have learned from my upbringing and I believe the saying “Treat others the way you want to be treated”. The positive attitude and behavior that we have shown to others will come back to us positively, although we cannot please everybody. Sometimes despite of positive attitude, when working with colleague still there is conflict because of differences in belief and values that we possess. With this experience it taught me that even if there is differences try to resolve it because dealing with this kind of situation immediately will create a positive outcome. Teamwork is important in the care setting.
Being a manager in the organisation, to work effectively it is critical to understand own values and beliefs and to understand the importance of not allowing them to affect the way working with staff. In order to remain professional it is essential to leave personal values out of the client or staff relationship. This means that it is important to allow clients to make decisions based on their own values and beliefs rather than decisions that reflect what you think they should do. Sometimes when we are working we seldom think about our attitudes and unaware of just how different our attitudes could be to others around us.
BE ABLE TO CRITICALLY ASSESS THE VALIDITY OF MANAGEMENT THEORIES IN RELATION TO OWN BELIEFS, ATTITUDES AND VALUES.
This second section explained the management theory that have been identified that is relevant to my role, the impact of beliefs, attitudes and values on this theory and how someone with different beliefs, attitudes and values may interpret this differently. Management theories can shape the foundation of successful business and leaders in any kind of organisation can learn from the tried and tested management concepts. In designing an effective organisation structure, beliefs and values of the organisation must be considered.
2.1 Identify management theories relevant to your role.
Behavioral management theory is often called the human relations movement because it addresses the human dimension of work. Behavioral theorists believed that a better understanding of human behavior at work, such as motivation, conflict, expectations, and group dynamics, improved productivity. (Cliffs Notes)
In behavioural/ human relation theory, manager should create a safe environment where staff feels that their opinions, ideas and the work that they contribute is valued. Encourage staff to reflect on their work and behavior, it motivate them to be more productive. Some managers tend to keep their staff close to the vest, which limits their growth potential and the potential of the team as a whole. Instead of encouraging and helping those to give input where their skills will be valued. This builds morale and also encourages new ways of idea transfer and collaborative thinking. Plus, if your excellent staff are seen in a positive light in the organisation, it reflects directly back how you are as their manager.
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Maslow’s Hierarchy of needs theory helped managers visualize employee motivation. It remains valid today for understanding human motivation, management training and personal development. Indeed, Maslow’s ideas surrounding the Hierarchy of Needs concerning the responsibility of employers to provide a workplace environment that encourages and enables employees to fulfill their unique potential (self actualization) are today more relevant ever.
Contingency Management Theory
The basic premise of Contingency Theory is that there is no one way to lead an organisation. There are too many external and internal constraints that will alter what really the best way to lead is in a given situation. In other words, it all depends upon the situation at hand as to what will be the best course of action.
Fred Fielder believed there was a direct correlation to the traits of a leader and the effectiveness of a leader. According to him, certain leadership traits helped in a certain crisis and so the leadership would need to change given the new set of circumstances. Fielder’s Contingency theory proposes the 3 following concepts that says there is no one best way to manage an organisation; leader must be able to identify which management style will help achieve the organisation’s goals in a particular situation and the least preferred co-worker (LPC) scale which measures a manager leadership orientation.
As a Healthcare Assistant the impact/relevance of the above theories in our role, because of the motivation from the manager, it inspires us to be more productive and our personal and professional growth increased. It is also our opportunity to have managers that efficiently and effectively deal with issues and maintain a stable or improving level of productivity. For example, our previous and present manager, our previous manager was very lax in managing the care home so the staff are not motivated. While the present manager always asked her staff what is the problem and provide information about the company, because communication is important within the care setting. She provides word of encouragement or credit and shows genuine concern and respect to her staff.
2.2 Critically assess the impact of own beliefs, attitudes and values on a management theory relevant to your role.
In our various roles, our beliefs, values and attitudes are constantly interfacing with those others; our peers, friends, family and clients. We seem to unconsciously “like” those individuals who share our core values and beliefs. It is clear that harmonizing our value systems is what makes a successful relationship, be it personal or professional.
Being an effective manager means being a good thinker. Good thinking is a combination of critical and creative thinking skills and possesses the right value and belief systems that in turn influence motivation, intention and engagement with a specific task. A positive attitude is also needed to be motivated and engaged in a task. To be able to do this task management theory is necessary to build the staff more productive; however it does not just teach managers inspire their staff to be more productive, it also shows them how to be good bosses. It is the key for them to know how to deal with issues and at the same time maintain a stable or improving level of productivity.
I believed with the behavioural theorist that understanding human behavior at work like motivation will improved productivity, like for instance in our workplace, the staff was given a pay rise if the staff got a higher level of performance, and if the manager observed that her staff are having a potential, the company gave the chance to develop it for personal and professional growth like further study or trainings because they believe staff performance is the utmost influence in organisation’s performance. If we check at the UK’s best companies to work for, their focus on company values and employee engagement is their highest agenda.
According to personal development company European Leaders survey only 36 percent worked to their full potential, and poor motivation is the cause. Most want to give more at work but a lack of communication between senior management and the wider workforce leaves lacking the desire to put in that extra effort. They could or would work much more efficiently with better motivation. (Evening Standard, 2011:59)
2.3 Use the critical assessment to evaluate how someone with different beliefs, attitudes and values might interpret the theory differently.
Cultural differences can be a big challenge for a manager working to a wide variety of staff with different beliefs, attitudes, values, etc. Even a smallest thing can be misinterpreted. As a manager working with different types of staff, most of them won’t same thinking as you. The important thing for good thinking manager to realize that there is always a way to solve any and every problem.
An effective manager must take time to recognize and reward his/her staff for what they have done and provide encouragement to motivate member of staff, however some managers have different styles of leadership, they never give even a simple word of encouragement or credit and praise for his/her member of staff who did a great job. Showing a genuine concern and respect for the staff may be the best strategy in reaching goal of outstanding leadership.
Behavioural theories focus on how leaders behave. Leaders either dictate what needs to be done or involve the team in decision making to encourage, motivate and support their employees. There are different types of manager, some are making decision without consulting their teams and they don’t bother if their staff are satisfied with their job, but they want a successful outcome from their staff. As I analyze this, if you want a positive outcome you should involved your staff in making decision unless there is no need for their input, however if it with regards to the health and well being of the Service Users teamwork is important. Others are allowing the team to provide input in making decision; however team agreement is important because it is difficult to decide when there are lots of ideas. While other managers who are lazy, doesn’t involved in decision making, they allow the team to make many of the decisions however this approach can fail. It is clear that leaders/managers behavior impacts on their effectiveness. So, leaders are those who can use different behavioral styles and use the right style for each situation.
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