American Management Association

Analytical Thinking, Problem Solving and Decision Making

Available dates

Dec 2—3, 2019
2 days
Arlington, Washington, United States
USD 2345
USD 1172 per day
Dec 16—17, 2019
2 days
New York, New York, United States
USD 2345
USD 1172 per day
Feb 10—11, 2020
2 days
Chicago, Illinois, United States
USD 2345
USD 1172 per day
+4 more options

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About the course

Get powerful problem-solving skills to more successfully reason through business problems

Today, it's everyone’s job to effectively solve problems. Analytical thinking and problem solving are foundational thinking skills that involve breaking things down into their component parts. They also involve deductive reasoning, drawing conclusions from givens and applying judgments to reach conclusions from a combination of evidence and assumptions. This seminar introduces you to fundamental thinking processes so that you can successfully analyze and solve a wide variety of business problems. Get these essential analytical thinking and problem-solving skills now to give yourself a powerful competitive and career advantage!

## How You Will Benefit

  • Learn a process for breaking down complex problems into their components and gain clarity around possible solutions
  • Apply strategies and techniques to avoid emotional triggers that can impede your best thinking
  • Explore how to generate solutions to atypical problems and then test the solutions
  • Know how to accurately interpret probability and other methods for increasing certainty in your judgment
  • Learn strategies for negotiating among variables and conditions
  • Recognize the difference between rationality of purpose and rationality of process

What You Will Cover

  • Understanding how we think and reason
  • Identifying underlying factors that explain why intelligent people do irrational things
  • Using a four-part model for effective reasoning
  • Balancing multiple conditions impacting a business situation
  • Comprehending the foundations of conditional logic (if x, then y) and disjunctive logic (x or y), and when to use them
  • Identifying the barriers and challenges to effectively using different kinds of logic
  • Exploring the difference between logical analysis and facts
  • Exploring the three aspects of probability and their application in business
  • Moving from pieces to the big picture and creating/testing solutions
  • Identifying common patterns to look for in data
  • Comprehending the hypothetical method and its two stages: formation and testing
  • Problem-solving skills and first steps: seeing patterns, abstracting to models and developing hypotheses
  • Using data to form and test a hypothesis
  • Beyond fundamentals—moving from analytical thinking to critical thinking
  • Applying the four components of analytical reasoning to a real-life work situation
  • Tying it all together and forming your action plan

Learning Objectives

  • Use the A.R.T. and A.I.D. Skill Bundles to Analyze and Make Better Decisions
  • Refine Your Ability to Assess Patterns, Recognize Probabilities, and Think Hypothetically
  • Use Counterfactual Thinking to Increase the Likelihood That Your Conclusion Is the Right One
  • Distinguish Between Problem Solving and Decision Making, in Order to Identify “True” Decisions
  • Recognize How Your Feelings About Uncertainty and Risk Impact the Way You Make Decisions
  • Identify Personal Characteristics That Inform Your Perception of What Makes a Decision “Right,” to Reduce Conflict and Groupthink
  • Apply Tools and Techniques for Sharpening Analytical and Intuitive Aspects of Decision Making
  • More Deliberately Apply Personal Experience to Complex Decision Making Under Conditions of Uncertainty

Components of Thought

  • Describe the Science Behind How the Brain Works When Analyzing a Typical Decision
  • Recognize the Importance of Analytical Thinking in Business
  • Define Three Key Analytical Reasoning Skills: Assessing Patterns, Recognizing Probabilities, and Thinking Hypothetically

ART: Assess Patterns

  • Describe the Three Subskills Associated with the Analytical Reasoning Skill of Assessing Patterns
  • Distinguish Between Three Common Information Patterns
  • Explain How Recognizing Patterns Can Increase the Efficiency of Decision Making

ART: Recognize Probabilities

  • Describe Three Subskills Associated with the Analytical Reasoning Skill of Recognizing Probabilities
  • Discuss How Your Personal Judgment About the Likelihood of an Outcome May Influence Your Ability to Solve Problems
  • Identify Implicit Probabilities to Assess the Level of Risk Within a Given Situation
  • Assess the Frequency of Specific Occurrences
  • Explain How Probability Judgments Can Help You Work Within Multiple Constraints When Problem Solving

ART: Think Hypothetically

  • Distinguish Between Inductive and Deductive Thinking
  • Create a Hypothesis That Will Lead to Developing Decision Alternatives
  • Use Counterfactual Thinking to Test Your Hypothesis
  • Assess When You Do Not Have Enough Information to Form a Complete Hypothesis

Applying ART to Real-World Situations

  • Apply All Three Bundles of Analytical Thinking (A-R-T) Skills to Real Business Scenarios
  • Enhance the Ability to See the Relevance of Analytical Reasoning Skills for Day-to-Day Work
  • Gain Greater Facility with Analytical Reasoning Skills By Practicing Them

Connecting the Dots: Analytical Reasoning and Decision Making

  • Define What a Decision Is and How Analytical Reasoning and Decision Making Are Related
  • Distinguish Between Two Types of Decisions—Simple and Complex
  • Become Familiar with Three Decision Analysis Tools—Decision Worksheets, Decision Trees, and Force Field Analysis

Personal Decision-Making Preferences

  • Recognize How Values and Experience Inform Our Perceptions
  • Identify Your Personal Decision-Making Preferences
  • Identify Others’ Personal Decision-Making Preferences
  • Explain How Group Decision Making Differs from Individual Decision Making

Psychological Factors Impacting Decision Making

  • Identify Personal Attitudes Toward Decision Making
  • Articulate the Common Reasons for Decision Avoidance
  • Describe the Key Cause of Decisions Made in Haste—Overconfidence
  • Apply Techniques to Avoid the Most Common Pitfalls of Decision Making

Personal Judgment and Decision Making

  • Describe the “Dual Process” of Decision Making
  • Define Personal Judgment (Heuristics)
  • Identify Your Personal Heuristics (Rules of Thumb)
  • Apply Four Techniques to Sharpen Personal Judgment
  • Explain the Impact of Emotion on Personal Judgment

The Context for Analytical Reasoning and Decision Making

  • Understand Your Organizational Context and How This Impacts Your Decision Making
  • Apply Interpersonal and Communication Skills to Convey Your Decision with Maximum Impact
  • Anticipate Pitfalls You May Encounter with Analytical Thinking, Problem Solving, and Decision Making
  • Create an Action Plan for Developing Analytical, Problem Solving, and Decision-Making Skills

Who should attend

Any individual who wants to be better equipped to face and solve today’s complex business problems by using a foundational process for reasoning and problem solving.

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