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Leaders are more than a skill set

Strategic leadership requires a complex integration of skills and mindset attributes.  In addition to having strong decision-making skills, effective leaders share certain common traits.  They are driven to accomplish goals and have the ability to energize an entire organization.

Five flying Canadian Geese following the leader

Ten core leadership attributes characterize successful leaders 

Every day, leaders and decision-makers need to be:

  1. Driven:  committed to the vigorous pursuit of professional excellence, with a consuming internal demand to achieve the vision of the organization.
  2. Discerning:  displays courage and objectivity in decision making. When making difficult decisions, they tend to ask the tough questions, to follow reasons and evidence wherever it takes them.  They give due consideration to competing points of view.
  3. Innovative:  have an appetite for innovation, see change as an opportunity for growth, are resilient agents of change in fast paced or fluid environments.
  4. Foresightful:  alert to potential difficulties, always striving to foresee consequences, ready to use reasoning and fact-finding to resolve difficulties and foreseeable problems.
  5. Judicious:  shows maturity and thoughtfulness in decision-making. They recognize that some problems are ill-structured, that, often, there is more than one reasonable option, and that poor decisions should be dispassionately revisited. 
  6. Incisive:  capable of making those strategic decisions that are tough, but necessary to achieve the organization’s mission.
  7. Tolerant: respects diversity in the workplace, including showing due respect for different perspectives, opinions, and suggestions.
  8. Honorable:  conduct themselves with integrity, honesty, ethics and truthfulness in communication and behavior.
  9. Motivational:  capable of inspiring an entire organization, moving it forward with enthusiasm and energy, motivating others to give their best.
  10. Professional:  limits socializing to that which is necessary to get the job done. They take an appropriate and professional approach to social interactions at work. They understand that professionalism is vital to maintaining a proper focus on work responsibilities, facilitating collaboration, and providing positive leadership.
Text on board saying If your actions inspire others to dream more, learn more, do more and become more, you are a leader. President Quincy Adams

Identify leaders ready to grow your company

INSIGHT Executive  objectively assesses and reports on each of the 10 above 10 essential leadership mindset attributes plus 5 core leadership thinking skills.

The metrics reported on INSIGHT Executive have been rigorously calibrated to identify how decisions were made and measure the application of reasoning skills. Comprehensive individual reports document strengths and weaknesses in essential executive mindset attributes and cognitive skills required for high stakes decision-making.   INSIGHT offers global assessment capability with tools calibrated to match your employee group.

Your require leaders able to make good decisions:

Why wait? Success depends upon strong decision makers who are committed to asking the hard questions and making the tough calls.

Contact us today to identify leaders who are ready to move your company forward.  Call 650-697-5628.

Now is the time for change

Whether your organization is thriving, just getting by or faltering, you are in a transition.  The success stories of the future will be from those whose transition was critically thought through. If your transition will be politically motivated, you don’t need us.  If you want to be the hit of the financial news, we can help you make sure your transition team includes the best thinkers available.

Effective leaders in times of transition are strategists who have the strong decision making skills needed to navigate risks, identify opportunities, ask tough questions and establish priorities while setting clear direction. To make change happen, innovative leaders must be resilient, driven to achieve the vision, able to inspire the team, and committed to highest standards of excellence. INSIGHT Executive delivers objective metrics on 15 key skills and mindset attributes that define winning leaders’ decision making.

Transition strategies succeed or fail in the implementation and follow up processes. The highly skilled professionals responsible for achieving your company goals will require strong problem analysis skills, the ability to evaluate critical data and to identify the possible consequences of complex decisions. Strength in determining solutions with the strongest likelihood of success requires a strong commitment to company goals, the mindset to focus on working through problems, an appetite for innovation and the ability to communicate enthusiasm to others.  INSIGHT Professional Business objectively measures 15 core cognitive skills and characteristics that drive managers to excel.

When you make a commitment to promote change throughout your organization, make sure that your transition team has the necessary strong decision making skills and the drive to make change happen. Insight Assessment reports and analytics   deliver the metrics you need to position effective decision makers where they will achieve your goals.

It’s never too late to benefit from prioritizing strong thinking. Contact us to preview how easy it is to use INSIGHT tools to drive your strategic plans forward.

Insight Assessment invites you to follow our blog, Thinking INSIGHT .

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It's a lot easier to capture data than it is to use it effectively.

  • Don't just collect data--use it.  Without strong critical thinkers in key roles to analyze data, businesses are simply managing exponentially increasing data sets that are basically useless.  Getting value out of data requires someone who has the right analytical skills to ask targeted questions and the mental disciplines to process results to discern the information that can be used to grow the business. There is an increasing call for employees, analysts and leaders who have the ability--and mindset-- to use critical thinking skills. 
  • No wonder strong thinking skills are in such demand today.

Insight Assessment specializes in helping organizations identify strong thinkers who have the skills to analyze, evaluate, interpret and apply data.

What could be more important than understanding the strengths--and weaknesses of your managers’ and employees' critical thinking?  
Contact us to see how our INSIGHT assessment tools deliver objective metrics that will help identify the strong thinkers who are eager and able to make your data work for you.
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Insight Assessment customers stay with INSIGHT because they receive undeniable value for their assessment programs.
  • Better Customer Service, More Customer Confidence in Results—personalized consultations on test selection and logistics through delivery and analysis of results.  Just tell us who and when; we’ll take care of the rest.
  • More Reliability, Less Effort and Risk for Your Staff—easy and efficient data collection with our secure, encrypted, multilingual online interface , available 24-7, easily administered at single or multiple sites, at test centers, to groups & to individuals.
  • More Metrics, Easier to Use—results delivered within minutes providing comprehensive analytical data on the strengths and weaknesses of test taker thought processes.
  • More Well-Reasoned Decisions, Fewer Errors—prioritizing good thinking reduces poor problem analysis and missed opportunities, increasing performance and efficiency of individuals and teams.
  • More Usable Data, Less File Filler—specific individual and group report data that is applicable for hiring, talent development, focused professional development initiatives, program evaluation.
  • More Business Context, More Relevance—three dimensional scenarios and business situations are linked to specialized metrics which indicate the critical elements of reasoning required to function in corporate positions. 
  • More Accurate Data, Better Reports measurements provided for Overall Thinking plus 15 core problem solving skills and mental disciplines that impact how decisions are made.
  • More Options, Better Fit with Your Needs test instruments calibrated for business, academic, health care, defense and legal organizations , available in more than 20 languages.
Insight Assessment specializes in cost effective full service solutions for measuring decision making skills and mindset attributes.

Contact us to get data that works for you.

Insight Assessment invites you to follow our blog, Thinking INSIGHT .

Leadership requires exceptional decision making skills

Decision-makers must create clarity out of ambiguity.

They must evaluate risks and opportunities and make a commitment to achieve their goals.  How does a CEO keep the leadership team on goal? Each executive's decisions may be reasonable. But a CEO still needs assurance their decisions maintain company vision.

Facing high pressure, complex circumstances, opportunity deadlines, too much, too little, or conflicting information is the reality of being a leader.

Picture of male and female leaders walking together

Decision making in complex situations is never easy

But businesses can’t afford to get it wrong.  Here are the top five critical leadership decision making skills, as measured by INSIGHT Executive:

1.  Identify critical factors which will affect the outcome of a decision.

Being a strongly skilled decision-maker requires having excellent analytical and interpretive skills. These are used to determine the issues that must be addressed and accounted for in the deliberative and implementation phases.

2.  Evaluate options accurately and establish priorities.

Effective leaders can assess the quality of alternatives and explain the reasons behind that evaluation.

3.  Anticipate outcomes and see logical consequences.

Adept strategists draw logical inferences in precisely defined and tightly structured contexts. This allows them to see the applications and the implications of all factors that shape and constrain decision making. Government regulations, policies, basic assumptions, core principles and protocols should be considered.

4.  Navigate risk and uncertainty.

The most accomplished managers judge the most probable and best justified inferences to draw in uncertain contexts. Information given may be uncertain or ambiguous, and the best inference is not a foregone conclusion.  The future is always unknown.

5.  Reason well in contexts requiring quantitative analysis.

Leaders must be able to analyze, interpret and evaluate vital information as presented in charts, graphs, text or tables.  They must understand what the numbers mean and how this impacts their options.

Logo for INSIGHT Executive assessment  used to measure decision making and critical thinking skills

Vision and decision strength start at the top

INSIGHT delivers the data needed to assure CEOs that the senior management team has the critical thinking skills to excel.

  • The metrics reported on INSIGHT assessments are rigorously calibrated. They objectively identify how decisions were made and measure the application of reasoning skills.
  • Comprehensive  individual reports document  the strengths and weaknesses in essential leadership mindset attributes and the cognitive skills required for high stakes decision making. 
  • Effortless integration into your current human resource processes.  Easy online administration takes the stress out of employee assessment.  Results are in your inbox within minutes. 

Contact us to preview how INSIGHT Executive.  It delivers the reliable analysis to validate that your leadership team is ready to implement corporate goals.

facione-education is chalkboard

To teach thinking, you have to model good thinking.

  • It's not a secret.

Effective training to improve thinking must start with the teacher.

Students learn from what teachers do as much, if not more, than from what they say. The most successful teacher will be the one who is able to both nurture and challenge thinking. 

  • Teaching for thinking requires a passionate disposition toward thinking and the explicit and reflective use of thinking skills to form reasoned judgments.
  • Educators must demonstrate thinking in multiple contexts including those that are rich in subject matter content and problem-complexity. 
  • The more a teacher is able to extend participants’ thinking into new domains of learning and inquiry, demanding solid content knowledge and the correct application of standards and methods appropriate to the domain, the stronger students’ thinking will become. It is a matter of active engagement, thoughtful reflection and reasonable reformulations of judgments.

If we expect to help students improve their thinking, educators must intensively practice the critical thinking skills and comment on the habits of mind of those being taught.

This is a surprisingly easy task when educators have trained their own habits of mind toward a standard of externalizing their reasons and evidence for judgments made, and of modeling the habits of mind that are expected from students. Speaking aloud the reasons and evidence for one’s judgments typically results in improved evaluation of one’s own thinking (the critical thinking skill of self-regulation).

As teachers model the characteristics of a strong thinkers , they can employ techniques to engage students and trainees in successful thinking skills development such as:
  • Being sure you know what success would really look like before you set about making things right. Too often we, and our students, do things just to be doing something, without knowing what the problem really is, why we are doing it, or how we will know when to declare victory.
  • Setting clear performance expectations for thinking—and include assessment to measure improvement.
  • Discussing actual examples of successful and unsuccessful decision-making and problem-solving. Case studies are excellent tools.
  • Modelling "Step-Back" and be sure that you understand the problem before you try to solve it.
  • Teaching groups and individuals to reflect upon and critically analyze their problem solving and decision-making processes by asking themselves systematic and tough questions about their own assumptions, methodologies, standards, and theoretical frames of references.
  • Exploring the role mindset attributes play in the application of thinking skills.
In school and in the workplace, thinking and problem solving gains define the success of training programs and their trainers. Everyone can learn to think better. Training someone to focus on their own thinking process, and teaching them about how they evaluate information, draw inferences, and avoid thinking errors, is a lifelong gift.
Whether your goal is improving the thinking skills of students or employees, a good program always incorporates objective assessment . Contact Insight Assessment to discuss how to integrate the development of thinking skills into your  professional development or learning outcomes evaluation programs.

Insight Assessment invites you to follow our blog, Thinking INSIGHT .

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High impact employee assessment doesn’t have to be hard. You need objective actionable data. You need it delivered in a cost-effective way.

The mindset and decision-making abilities of key employees determine their on the job effectiveness.Insight Assessment specializes in helping organizations identify strong thinkers who are driven to utilize their talents to achieve company goals.

What could be more important than understanding how your decision makers apply their reasoning skills to job-related situations?

INSIGHT Business Professional is the proven evaluation tool that delivers highly relevant data. INSIGHT individual reports provide metrics on the test-taker’s strengths and weaknesses in essential cognitive skills and mindset attributes required for high stakes decision making. Group reports provide team overviews. Effortless integration into your current human resource processes, easy online administration, results in your inbox within minutes takes the stress out of employee assessment.

INSIGHT delivers employee thinking assessments that provide the data you need for:

INSIGHT: Business Professional gives you the most valuable tool for critical employee assessment: an objective, comprehensive measurement of reasoning skills.

Analysis and rankings of the problem-solving and decision making skills of your staff gives you the ability to match skills to jobs.

Contact us to find out how INSIGHT tools can provide data for all your thinking assessment needs from prescreening candidates to leadership identification.

effective training

To engage students and trainees in successful critical thinking skills development, and to reinforce a positive critical thinking mindset, there are a few basics to keep in mind:

  • Use silence to allow everyone time to think through the question before the conversation begins.
  • Pose thoughtful or insightful questions and intentionally allow 10–15 seconds of silence to elapse before calling on students to respond. Cognitive science research has shown that a pause of this length is necessary for the human brain to sufficiently process a question and formulate a reasonable response. Even 15 seconds of silence can seem a long time in a class session, but setting this expectation assures that one eager student will not end the thinking process for the entire group before all have had some time to practice their critical thinking skills.
  • Work from example to theory. Discuss the examples in the text first, and then draw out the concepts they teach. This technique practices students’ inductive reasoning skills and promotes active engagement and inquisitiveness.
  • Make the language of thinking a familiar vocabulary. Use critical thinking vocabulary when posing questions to students to reinforce conceptual understanding and promote recognition of reasoning. Use the names of the skills and the habits of mind that are found in the textbook. For example, use phrases such as: “What is your reason for that claim?” “Let’s interpret this statement,” “What inferences can we reasonably draw from these facts?” and “Let’s be systematic in our analysis.”
  • Engage students in dynamic learning activities that promote independent thinking or exposure to the thinking of others. Suggested activities include maintaining a reflective journal; conversing with a partner, small groups, or the whole class; investigations, inquiries, and informed conversations; debates; simulations; role playing; fishbowl activities; panel discussions; brainstorming exercises; case studies; course blogs or wikis; individual or group argument mapping; social networking features such as asynchronous bulletin boards that are often found in course management systems; maintaining a paper or electronic Portfolio, and so on.
  • Require students to provide reasons or explanations for all of their claims, interpretations, analyses, evaluations, and decisions. Ask why and expect a good, well-reasoned answer. Don’t let students get by with shut-down clichés such as, “That’s just how I feel,” “I was brought up to think that…,” “My parents always said that…,” and “It’s common sense.”
  • Model strong critical thinking for your students. Your students watch you to see if you believe in the value of critical thinking, so what you say and what you do might be more powerful in motivating them to build their critical thinking skills than anything they read or hear in a lecture. If you show that you practice the positive critical thinking habits of mind and that you engage in problems and decisions by applying critical thinking skills, that message comes through to them. If you do not, you reflect a negative message.

Many thanks to Dr. Carol Gittens for this list of suggestions that are useful techniques an instructor can use to promote strong critical thinking. These appear in the teaching manual accompanying her book THINK Critically by Pearson Education. This is an excerpt from those materials.

If you are interested in additional strategies for teaching and training reasoning skills, check out the Resources on  the Insight Assessment website.

Explore our website for practical training resources and our blog, Thinking INSIGHT , for further discussion of the measurement of thinking skills and mindset.

Insight Assessment offers a comprehensive array of objective, validated education and business thinking assessment tools that report individual and group diagnostics of overall strengths and weakness .  Comprehensive personal reports provide are powerful tools that insights to individual trainees or students, highlighting reasoning strengths and identifying areas for improvement.  Flexible administration options make assessment available 24/7 throughout the world. 

Contact us today to discuss your reasoning skills and thinking mindset training and assessment goals.

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“Students must navigate a wide range of issues to achieve success.”

Research about college students of all different ages and backgrounds often focuses on how the experience of attending college impacts and shapes their lives. Our development as human beings continues throughout our lives. But the decade or so from late adolescence through young adulthood is particularly important because during these years students are

  • developing the competencies they will need to make a living in a complex society,
  • learning to manage their emotions,
  • moving through autonomy toward interdependence,
  • developing mature interpersonal relationships,
  • establishing our personal identity,
  • developing and refining our sense of purpose,
  • developing a greater integration of who we are with what we say and do in all circumstances.

Strong reasoning skills and a thinking mindset are needed to successfully navigate these many worthy endeavors.***

Regardless of degree program, strong critical thinking predicts college success, professional licensure, job hire, and government service rank. Colleges and universities recognize that building these skills and habits early is key to students’ success, so assessing critical thinking student learning outcomes is being prioritized. 

Data about the strength and weaknesses of students thinking provides valuable metrics for admissions, assisting placement , increasing retention and strengthening student support programs. Using Insight Assessment's cost effective valid and reliable assessment tools to identify students with critical thinking weaknesses permits clients to focus student success initiatives where they can do the most good. 

Contact us to learn how our individual and group reports provide the data you need for your improvement programs.

 ***   Adapted with permission from “Solve Problems and Succeed in College” (THINK Critically, Pearson Education), 2015 ,  a Freshman Seminar text, authors Facione and Gittens
 

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Are you a good thinker?

Thinking skills are essential life skills. Now you can measure your thinking skills and mindset using the Critical Thinking Insight app , downloadable from your app store. These authentic reasoning skills tests and mindset evaluation tools are based on the employment and educational tests Insight Assessment provides to businesses, health care agencies, colleges and high schools around the world. This is the first time these kinds of quality instruments are available for your personal use.

Are you looking for a good self-test of your thinking skills? Find out if you the skills and mindset to make good decisions.

Get started today with the free sample reasoning skills questions and free sample reasoning mindset items. Then measure your thinking with the in-app purchasable personal assessment options including more detailed and challenging thinking skills tests and mindset measures including My Thinking Skills – Adult Level , My Thinking Mindset – Adult Level , My Leadership Potential – Adult Level , My Learning Mind – Ages 11-17 and My Learning Mind – Ages 5-10 .  Purchases of personal assessments include a numerical score, a qualitative rating and an analysis of your scores on key elements of good thinking. Specific suggestions for improvement help you interpret your scores and grow even stronger in each area covered by the personal assessment.

Good thinking is in demand. Download Critical Thinking Insight from your app store today:

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