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The Master Facilitator Journal | Issue #0063| July 23, 2002
7,700 Subscribers


Critical Thinking Skill-Building for Facilitators--Metacognition

 Critical thinking skills are crucial for facilitators and their clients.

The Point

Critical thinking skills are necessary for mastery of facilitation, yet few of us learn exactly what constitutes critical thinking and how it can be improved. Critical thinking skills can improve every facet of your life. We will be presenting a series of articles on this subject to provide you with the tools to understand and apply specific strategies to improve critical thinking.

First Tool: Metacognition

Do you know how you think? Do you know what errors of thought you make because of your personal abilities, habits, conditioning and beliefs? Metacognition is reflection about yourself in relation to your thinking processes, followed by self-control and self-correction based on what you learn from these reflections. Do you know the strengths and weaknesses in your thinking? Do you know what errors of thought you make because of your conditioning and beliefs? The tool of metacognition can change the way you think and make you into a more reflective, self-aware, disciplined professional. It can help you express yourself with clarity, help you influence others, and increase your confidence when you decide to take a position on a subject.


How do you Improve Your Metacognition Skills?

- Identify what you know and what you don't know.
- Commit to learn about yourself in order to understand how your abilities, feelings and/or preferences might interfere in clear thinking
- Develop thinking strategies
- Ongoing effort!

In the context of facilitation, becoming a "meta-thinker" can help you better understand what is occurring in the group process. You will be able to recognize errors in critical and creative thinking and help teams move toward creative solutions that are based in logic and reason - solutions that are more likely to work in the practical world. "Meta-thinking" can help you better facilitate group consensus by increasing your powers of observation in the world of expressed thought. The fact you will be able to see errors in thinking in the group process will allow you to guide the group members out of traps of illogic and unreasonableness. 

To begin improving your thinking, invest in a journal. Start out by observing your thinking daily and writing down your observations at the end of the day. Observe others and how they express their thinking. Write these observations down, too. In the next weeks you will learn more about what to look for, obstacles to good thinking, errors in thinking and ways to improve your thinking both in and out of the box.

Stay tuned to learn how to become a meta-thinker!

About the Author

Deborah Osborne is a consultant, a crime analyst, a poet, and a book author. She has a BA in psychology, worked eight years in applied behavioral analysis, and also holds an MA in Social Policy. She is available to assist you in becoming a better thinker through personal coaching - write to her at for more information about consulting and/or coaching services.


This week, at the end of each day, reflect on the theme of your  thinking or behavioral that emerged and record it in your journal. Do this every day this week and at the end of the week, examine any assumptions or patterns of thinking that are present. Decide on an action you'd like to take to either correct it or amplify it. I'd love to hear you're experiences. Please email me your comments.

cartoon image of a talking man.

Reader Survey 

Share your experiences and perspectives around facilitation in government and politics.

We'd like to hear about your experiences as either a facilitator or participant in working with groups in government or politics. What is unique about facilitation and/or the role of the facilitator in this arena? Please email me your inputs and I'll send the entire collection to those who contribute.

If you know someone who might benefit and enjoy this newsletter, please send this link to a friend.

picture of Steve Davis, editor of the Master Facilitator Journal.

About the Author: 
Steve Davis is a Business and Life Coach facilitating others to reach  their full potential in their business and personal lives. Please email your stories, comments, suggestions, and ideas. Or call me at 800-216-3854. I'd love to hear from you. If you find this newsletter helpful, please forward it to your friends. Thanks for reading! 

In the Spotlight

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Judy Warner
Director, NY Office
Aiki Works, Inc.

Thank you for reading this issue of the Master Facilitator Journal.  Look for your next issue on July 30, 2002.   

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