Critical Thinking and Creative Problem Solving
Course 284 | 3 Days
Evaluations in the Last 12 Months
You Will Learn How To
- Make better decisions through critical thinking and creative problem solving
- Adapt to different thinking styles in group and team environments
- Recognize and remove barriers to creativity to foster an innovative work environment
- Systematically analyze a target problem
- Transform your creativity into practical business solutions
- Profiling your personal thinking style and the styles of others
- Identifying personal and team roadblocks to success
- Analyzing left- and right-brain characteristics
- Applying logical methodologies to transform a range of creative options into supportable decisions
- Presenting your decision
Course 284 Content
- Business drivers that demand creative problem solving
- Deciphering critical thinking
Leveraging Personal Thinking Styles
The Herrmann Brain Dominance Instrument (HBDI)
- MacLean's Triune Brain Theory
- Assessing your preferred approach to thinking
- Leveraging whole-brain thinking
- Identifying left-/right-brain dominance
Analyzing personal preferences
- Identifying your own natural brain dominance
- Determining nondominant approaches
Managing thinking preferences
- Avoiding quadrant bias
- Bridging opposing styles
- Predicting coworker profiles
Unleashing Your Creativity
The creative environment
- The power of positive communication
- Identifying elements that stimulate creativity
- Eliminating barriers to innovation
Group creative thinking
- Brainstorming options
- Challenging assumptions
- Dispelling personal and corporate myths
The iterative mind
- Moving between quadrants
- Valuing nondominant preferences
- Stretching outside your personal style
Recording the creative process
- Drawing mind maps
- Chart writing
Solving Problems Using Analysis and Prioritization
Systematic approaches to problem solving
- Defining criteria
- Focusing on outcomes
- Leveraging left-brain thinkers
- Applying questioning techniques
- Deconstructing problems using stair-step techniques
Analyzing the creative process
- Identifying business-critical ideas
- Categorizing, prioritizing and purging
Avoiding analysis paralysis
- Overcoming the "It won't work here" mentality
- The Five Monkeys Syndrome or "But we've always done it this way"
- Analyzing for outcomes, not solutions
Applying analysis models
- Situation assessment
- Decision analysis
- Problem evaluation
Translating Creativity and Analysis into Practical Application
- Recognizing the workplace culture
- Maintaining outcome-focused goals
The influence of decision-making styles
- Recognizing your own blind spots
- Self-awareness and self-regulation
- Forming a coalition with style opposites
Deploying your decision
- Clearly expressing analysis results
- Ensuring organizational benefit
- Guaranteeing maximum buy-in
Putting It All Together
Integrating your solution into the business
- Creating a whole-brain presentation
- Strengthening your nondominant position
- Adjusting communication to thinking styles
- Transforming confrontation into communication
Continuing your development
- Being persistent: a key trait of successful creatives
- Mapping thinking skills to your business
Your Personal Decision-Making Toolkit
- Your personal thinking style
- Committing to your Personal Action Plan
- Checklists for success
Who Should AttendIndividuals at any level of an organization who want to apply creativity and critical-thinking skills to their decision-making process.
First Day Orientation:
8:00 a.m. - 9:00 a.m.
Standard Class Hours:
9:00 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.
Last Day Class Hours:
9:00 a.m. - 3:30 p.m.
Free Optional Course Exam Last Day:
3:45 p.m. - 4:30 p.m.
Each Class Day:
Upon Request: Informal discussion with instructor about your work-specific projects or areas of special interest:
4:30 p.m. - 5:00 p.m.
More Course Info
What is this course about?
This course teaches you the skills you need to make better decisions, spur creativity and implement that innovation in a practical way in the workplace. By applying a proven theoretical model of the human brain, you discover your personal thinking style and analyze the styles of others. Using this knowledge and flexing to another's preferred style, you can maximize team involvement, generate a greater number of possible solutions and conclude with better business decisions.
Who will benefit from this course?
The course benefits anyone needing to make decisions and develop creative solutions to daily business problems.
What kind of background do I need?
No special background is required for this course.
What is critical thinking?
Critical thinking is the process of dissecting any complex problem or decision into a series of smaller, more manageable components, which helps to make the solution more evident and the problem easier to solve.
What is creative problem solving?
Creative problem solving skills allow you to think "outside the box" of available information and data to formulate an innovative solution. In today's competitive environment, these "out of the box" solutions ensure individuals and organizations remain future-focused in a changing marketplace.
What is the relationship between critical thinking and creative problem solving?
Critical thinking and creative problem solving are two separate modes of thinking. Each uses a separate part of the brain, one for analysis of existing facts, figures and other data, while the other focuses on intuitive, holistic and feeling-based solutions. These correspond to the left and right side of the human brain. Both types of thinking must be used to arrive at the best solutions to problems and in making the best decisions.
What is unique about this course?
This course approaches the challenging issue of balancing critical analysis and creativity. In this course, you discover your own preferred thinking styles and those of others in the workplace. Once this is understood, you are more equipped to balance these thinking styles personally and professionally to your advantage.
What new skills will I have after I take this course?
After completing this course, you will be able to use processes to analyze problems and make better and more supportable decisions. You will have the skills to adapt to various thinking styles in group and team environments and be able to recognize and remove barriers to individual and group creativity to foster an innovative environment. In addition, you will have gained tools to present your ideas clearly and concisely to increase stakeholder buy-in.
You will be able to use new approaches to stimulate your own creativity and as well as the creativity of those around you in the workplace.
Will I be more creative after I take this course?
Yes! This course provides tools, techniques and approaches on how to stimulate personal creativity along with practical guidance on how to implement these new skills in your workplace.
Does the course use a specific model such as Myers-Briggs?
Yes. This course focuses on the Herrmann Brain Dominance Instrument (HBDI) developed by General Electric as a model for understanding thinking styles and preferences.
The course also explains how other popular models correspond to the HBDI.
Is this course applicable toward a Project Management Institute (PMI) certification?
Yes. Though this course is not designed as preparation for an exam, it is beneficial to anyone working toward, or maintaining, a PMI certification. Most PMI certifications require a specific number of PDUs in order to obtain and maintain the credential. Completion of this course provides 17 professional development units (PDUs).
Learning Tree offers several courses that help you prepare for PMI certifications, including Course 276, Preparing for the Project Management Professional (PMP)® Exam, which prepares you for PMI's most popular certification. For more details on these courses and PMI certifications, please see the Learning Tree PMI Registered Education Provider Q&A.
How much time is spent on each topic?
Content Hours Introduction 1.5 Leveraging personal thinking styles 3.0 Unleashing your creativity 3.5 Solving problems using analysis and prioritization 4.0 Translating creativity and analysis into practical application 2.0 Putting it all together 3.0
Times, including the workshops, are estimates; exact times may vary according to the needs of each class.
What kinds of workshops are included in this course?
Approximately 65 percent of the course is spent on workshops. These workshops allow you to gauge your own personal thinking preference and the preferences of people around you in order to develop a personal decision-making toolkit. You practice adapting to colleagues' preferred styles in order to more effectively communicate your message and build teamwork. You learn to use decision analysis models to identify optimum solutions to problems. You also gain experience in analyzing left- and right-brain characteristics and identifying roadblocks to success.
How does this course relate to other Learning Tree courses?
Learning Tree offers a number of courses in management, communication and planning.
- 292, Communication Skills: Results through Collaboration focuses on individual communication styles. This course (284) looks at identifying personal thinking styles. These two courses together help you develop your own personal awareness and your personal effectiveness in dealing with others.
- 290, Management Skills provides the skills you need to capture the diversity of individual personality types in order to develop synergy in a team environment.
- 346, Project Leadership: Building High-Performance Teams addresses how to lead and motivate people in a project environment. This involves understanding the specific needs and expectations of a team of individuals with diverse thinking styles.
- 294, Influence Skills: Getting Results without Direct Authority examines how rapport is established between individuals through matching preferred patterns of communication, which are directly linked to thinking styles.
- 219, Business and Report Writing: A Comprehensive Hands-On Introduction offers the skills to create more effective business documents and reports.
Many Learning Tree courses provide college credit and industry continuing education credits. You can also earn a Learning Tree Professional Certification in your area of expertise and prepare for popular industry certifications. See below for continuing professional development credits associated with this course.
This course qualifies for 1 semester hour of college credit as certified by the American Council on Education's College Credit Recommendation Service (ACE CREDIT). Read More... This course qualifies for 17 CPE credits from the National Association of State Boards of Accountancy CPE program. Read More... This course is approved by PMI® for 17 professional development units (PDUs). For more on the Project Management Institute and a full list of courses approved for PDUs. Read More...
3-Day Tuition New Attendee Returning Attendee Notes Commercial $2,490 $2,240
Click here for multi-course savings plans.
Tuition payment is not required at time of enrollment.
Government $2,213 $1,992
Guaranteed to Run Course Events
Course events marked with this green check icon are absolutely Guaranteed to Run.
NOTE: Guaranteed to Run course events are added twice weekly, please check back here for updates.
Tuition & Savings Plans
Take advantage of our Multi-Course Tuition Savings Plans. Learn more »
Enroll Today – Risk Free!
Call 1-800-843-8733 or enroll online by selecting your date above.
- No advanced payment required.
- No fees for cancellation or rescheduling, ever.
- Take up to 30 days after your course date to pay.
- Satisfaction guaranteed – or you pay no tuition.
You can bring this course on-site to your organization
Bring Learning Tree Training to your workplace with our On-Site Training Solution. Learn more ».
"This was a great course on critical thinking and problem solving. I really enjoyed the curriculum - and felt that it directly related to my work. It gave me new tools and a different perspective."
– M. Murray
IT Business Analyst