The modern world is a dynamically evolving system. To become successful and achieve the desired result, it is necessary to develop and improve constantly. As noted by scientists, achieving this goal is impossible if a person does not have the skills and abilities of critical thinking. Those who have these well-developed abilities can cope with complex and seemingly overwhelming problems quite easily. Such people can clearly formulate the issue’s essence, collect and select information, make informed conclusions, and then check them. This essay is intended to create a blueprint for educating student volunteers in critical thinking and thinking that enables problem-solving. It is expected that the program participants will be able to resolve disputes over the phone between them and callers.
Problem-Solving and Critical Thinking Characteristics and Their Significance
Critical thinking skills allow one to cope with problems at work and home effectively. They all have to do with the ability to question everything, trying to go beyond standard solutions. For example, it assumes the ability to decompose a situation into its components. This skill helps to find the root of the problem and ultimately fix it. After the problem has been analyzed, it is necessary to select the optimal solution without spending more effort than is required.
People need to be able to standardize processes to free up resources for more critical and creative tasks. Developing an action plan requires the skills to predict several possible outcomes based on previous experience and any available information (Doyle, 2020). Moreover, proper information retrieval skills are also crucial for the development of critical thinking. In turn, problem-solving thinking also implies careful selection and retrieval of the necessary information (Doyle, 2020). Besides, the result should be formulating a concrete solution given by objective conditions and available data.
Critical thinking does not imply a rejection of other judgments or criticism of all incoming information. Still, it involves a versatile approach to the problems and issues under consideration. A person can then make a deliberate, balanced, and well-grounded decision for himself. When completing any task, students must understand the main idea, follow the logic of the presentation of the material, highlight the problem, and compare the information received with that which they already know. Then, they will determine what additional information they need to draw a conclusion and formulate their point of view on a specific issue or problem. Students should analyze the collected data, evaluate their significance, choose the necessary, structure the information, and then synthesize it to solve the problem and argue their point of view — these are all stages of critical thinking.
The Essence of Working with Phone Calls and the Necessary Skills
The success of any call center depends on the level of training and professionalism of the employees who directly communicate with customers, answer their questions, and solve emerging problems. These people must thoroughly understand the specifics of the communication with callers and the nature of the conflict. They must possess the skills of thoughtful and correct telephone conversations (Saboo, 2021).
In their work, call center workers will use scripts of discussions with callers, which provide the standard stages of the debate, work with objections, and reach a mutual agreement on an issue. To improve the skills of trainees, it is recommended to regularly conduct classes aimed at practicing difficult situations that require students to be self-possessed and be able to make appropriate decisions quickly. During such courses, the skills of running telephone conversations are worked out, and the obligatory remarks of the worker are brought to automaticity.
Exercises Used in the Training Program
One of the exercises for developing critical skills will be one that involves searching for arguments that contradict the position of a particular participant in this project. Participants need to list their beliefs about the problem and then test them with critical information through, for example, a Google query. They will need to find arguments to defend the opposite point of view. It will be unpleasant to read about something contrary to a person’s beliefs. However, in this way, he or she will genuinely test his objectivity. It does not matter what conclusions they come to; the main thing is that they will familiarize themselves with “hostile information” and analyze it.
A fundamental technique for making decisions is the assessment of consequences. The question “What will happen if I do so?” should be the first on the list of questions. It is required to formulate several possible options and consider whether the consequences are acceptable. Every decision and action has effects; therefore, this approach can be regarded as beneficial. The project participants are supposed to come up with possible developments of the situation if the discussed initiative is accepted. It is also required to assess the consequences of abandoning the analyzed innovation and compare the results. In addition, students are expected to constantly ask questions as if they were the callers themselves so that they will be more ready for real interaction with people.
Effectively interacting with callers on the phone and developing critical thinking skills requires participants to recognize cognitive biases. The latter includes the mistakes of the brain when it misinterprets reality. For example, people tend to seek confirmation of their beliefs while ignoring counterarguments. There is a considerable amount of cognitive biases, and absolutely everyone is susceptible to them. One needs to learn a few of these distortions to recognize them in life. Initially, participants should try on others, but sooner or later, they will begin to notice the cognitive delusions in themselves. During phone calls, callers, consciously or not, can use psychological methods of manipulating consciousness, which the project participants must skillfully resist.
The essence of the following exercise is to jointly search for a solution to a specific problem of the participant. Each one proposes a difficult situation from their own experience. After the participant described the problem, the coach asked the questions: “What feelings did you experience?”, “What thoughts did you have?” First, the subject is looking for a way out of the situation according to the following algorithm: identifying goals, classifying interests, and then determining the ways to achieve these goals. Each one, in turn, suggests other ways of solving the problem. If participants claim that there is no way out of the situation and the problem cannot be solved, the instructor should invite them to use the brainstorming method. The host is the last to speak; his job is to suggest ways to solve a problem and stimulate discussion.
The Format of the Training Sessions and Their Purpose
Training should be carried out five days a week for two weeks, and the duration of the sessions should not be too long. However, doing the above exercises is not enough to successfully conduct telephone conversations following the program results. The instructor should inform volunteers about the problem’s essence, as well as the key positions “for” and “against.” It is supposed to conduct simulated cases so that the participants know how to act in stressful situations.
Each lesson should practice new skills, but it is required not to overload with information. The best option would be to issue written manuals, which would contain both scripts of dialogues with callers and general principles of critical thinking. Some of the project participants will have to call back the callers after a while and determine if they and the employees agreed on the topic during phone calls.
Conclusion and Recommendations
Without the skills of critical thinking and thinking directed at solving problems, successful personality formation is impossible. A person with developed critical thinking has a whole set of skills. They include observation and the ability to substantiate their point of view, focusing on the study of information and applying analytical skills in various situations. It managed to create a project aimed at training volunteers in these skills within a relatively short time. With the use of exercises in the training, it is also expected to explain the essence of the conflict and the prominent positions presented to the participants. As a recommendation, it should be noted that the training should be gradual. It is forbidden to immediately overwhelm the participants with a large amount of information for the study. It is also required to provide students with the necessary materials to use when necessary.
Doyle, A. (2020). Critical thinking definition, skills, and examples. ThoughtCo. Web.
Saboo, N. (2021). Working in a call center: Everything you need to know. HubSpot. Web.