By Linda Fisher Thornton
Ethical thinking and critical thinking are both important and it helps to understand how we need to use them together to make decisions.
- Critical thinking helps us narrow our choices. Ethical thinking includes values as a filter to guide us to a choice that is ethical.
- Using critical thinking, we may discover an opportunity to exploit a situation for personal gain. It’s ethical thinking that helps us realize it would be unethical to take advantage of that exploit.
Develop An Ethical Mindset Not Just Critical Thinking
Critical thinking can be applied without considering how others will be impacted. This kind of critical thinking is self-interested and myopic.
“Critical thinking varies according to the motivation underlying it. When grounded in selfish motives, it is often manifested in the skillful manipulation of ideas in service of one’s own, or one’s groups’, vested interest.”
Critical thinking informed by ethical values is a powerful leadership tool. Critical thinking that sidesteps ethical values is sometimes used as a weapon.
When we develop leaders, the burden is on us to be sure the mindsets we teach align with ethical thinking. Otherwise we may be helping people use critical thinking to stray beyond the boundaries of ethical business.
Unleash the Positive Power of Ethical Leadership®
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