Jon Michail's Personal Branding Masterclass

Mastering Critical Thinking

November 09, 2023 Season 2 Episode 103
Jon Michail's Personal Branding Masterclass
Mastering Critical Thinking
Show Notes Transcript

Join Jon as he explains how Critical Thinking can be a game-changer asset in both personal and professional life. Discover how this skill can be your guiding light in decision-making, problem-solving, and innovation.

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Twitter: @jon_michail
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Podcast Editor and Producer: Ana Carolina Alves 

Additional Voice: Charles The Voice 

Music: Have a Smoke by Crowander (CC BY 4.0)


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Welcome to Jon Michail’s Personal Branding Masterclass. Jon is the founder and CEO of image group international, an award-winning image consulting and personal branding pioneer established in 1989. This podcast will bring you old-school wisdom, inspiring ideas, strategies and hacks for the new tech world. Here you will learn everything about personal branding: the system, the techniques and the right mindset to have a successful personal brand, image and reputation.

Hey, everybody, thank you for being here today. Before we begin, I kindly ask you to connect with me on social media. My Twitter is John on the line Michael, where LinkedIn with John Michael, and you can find Where's image Group International of baseball. Okay, let's get this show on the road. Today we're diving into another skill. That's an absolute game changer in both your personal professional life, it's a skill
that serves as a guiding light in decision making. What I would call is a compass in problem solving, and certainly a key to innovation. I'll be sharing today specifically about mastering critical thinking skills. And what that means is, actually before I give you the benefits of critical thinking, I'd like to dispel one of the myths. Critical thinking is not negative thinking, or critical. So when you look for the truth and reality in an unbiased manner, not always so easy, I get it, but we'll have a shot at it anyway. So thinking critically sets you apart, equips you with the ability to analyse information, make informed decisions, and tackle complex problems head on, when most of your competitors are doing the opposite. Remember, most decisions in life, if not all, are made on the motion first. And then justified with rationale. Okay, do not forget that decision. Because if it wasn't like that, of course, you wouldn't be buying most of the stuff that you do, that you probably don't need or services that you bought that you don't need, because you've definitely incorporated the emotion first, before critical thinking. So what I'm going to say about this is this, whether you're in a boardroom, the classroom, or the living room, critical thinking is a skill that transcends boundaries and rewards you for lifetime. And like Richard Branson said, learn to use your brainpower. You know, critical thinking is the key to creative problem solving in business. Critical thinking is like a Swiss army knife for the mind. Okay, that's what it is. At its core, it's critical thinking is about questioning assumptions, again, assumptions, evaluating the evidence, and of course, considering multiple perspectives. And it's a skill that empowers you to separate fact from fiction, to discern the credible from the dubious and to navigate the vast sea of information we encounter daily, including, and this is a key misinformation and this information. So what I want to say to you on that is basically, that particular aspect about misinformation, disinformation is getting worse, you would, as you know, if you've been awake, you would have saw that society right now is starting to accept all sorts of crazy things that three years ago would have thought, you know, we would have thought was either out of democratic fascist at worst, and definitely against the good of society. But Western accept these things as normal. So it's important for your own site to have a good understanding of this, because without that, you're operating in what I would call his murky waters in and making the decision in the end will be based on as I said, emotion, as opposed to something that's been critically analysed. And from that this theme as well. It's understanding that you can look at yourself right in the middle there and trying to work out which is the way to go by analysing this specifically, without actually, you know, just jumping into first drawn conclusion. And of course, the digital world right now is full of that. And basically, if you look at fraud, for instance, online, it's based on a lot of non critical thinking. 

So well inundated with data and information, the ability to think critically, is nothing short of a superpower. Remember, data is only as good as your understanding of it. And if you're not trying to critically analyse it, it can do more harm than good. And this is where your critical thinking comes into play. Of course, what happens with most people is they trust the person reading the data for their opinion. Again, now again, again, if you get a bottom line, they're only conduit, you need to understand this yourself. And of course, we know that most people are not good with numbers, okay, or understanding the mathematical aspect of what that would look like from an accounting point of view. And they're sort of defer that decisions or certainly pass them on to others to me for them, that's okay. Of course, we all have to trust professionals, I'm one of those. But at the same time, they have no critical thinking skills. And it's all rah, rah, rah rah, beware, beware, it's a skill that enables you to make sense of the noise, to sift through the clutter, and to extract meaningful insights. And you can only do that if you study it. If you haven't gone down this track at all, it's gonna be very difficult because it's foreign to you. So whether you're facing a complex business challenge, like getting your head around social media metrics, serious problem today, most small businesses, for instance, have no idea how to understand the metrics, you know, making a crucial life decision, or simply engaging in a thoughtful conversation, including, you know, with friends on a weekend, critical thinking is your trusty companion. And example I want to give you is a particular example, that I've personally experienced only recently. So I go to a lot of investors shows, you know, I've been part of investor road shows. So part of that, of course, my work is to create the presentations that investors will like, of course, and in most cases, you know, when the investors over because that's part of the intention in this case. So what happened was, though, I've got my hat off as a critical thinker. Well, I also go to all sorts of events where I might be the investor myself, if I didn't have the critical thinking skills to analyse, analyse a potential business investment, potentially, I could have lost all my money, and of course, reputation in the process. And I did that in my early 20s, when I didn't have the skills. So what I want to say to you is, yes, of course, they'd all allow been more mature, having done a lot of personal development work over the years, critical thinking, for me is like one of the biggest skills you could have. And of course, potentially, in my case, or you as an investor will save you also a lot of heartache. And this is the thing here, you know, our schools today, if you've got young kids in your family are not teaching critical thinking skills anymore. And this is dangerous for society, because it's not about jumping on sides. In the political world, of course, it's left to right, it's about able to critically analyse something, how it affects your life. Okay. And of course, if you have family, your family's life, as opposed to other agendas that are going on. So critical thinking is a special now in your personal life, of course, it leads to better decision like, as I just noted with it, investment decisions, more effective problem solving in the workplace, as a leader, an essential tool, and of course, enhanced communication. Remember, it's not about being perfect, it's about being able to put it all together again, and think, think a little bit differently. So in your professional life, we know critical thinking also sets you apart. Leaders, of course, with that critical thinking skills are also going to be in trouble are in trouble, because they're not going to last so long without just being emotionally rah rah rah without having something solid on the ground. Okay, so as a problem solver, as an innovator, you need some of these skills. 

So a critical thinker is also highly respected, and a times fear. Why? Because they question assumptions. In the real world, of personal branding, for instance, critical thinking is not just a valuable skill, it's a strategic advantage, your because your personal brand. So critical thinking is already an important part of who you are. Yes, that's a great part of your personal brand, and also should be promoted, you know, as part of your personal branding. And so your personal brand is a reflection of your expertise, your values, and of course, your ability to navigate the complexities of the world around you. Critical Thinking plays a pivotal role, of course, in shaping and enhancing your brand. And so the key here is to question things. Question all assumptions. This is key. Yes, of course, a critical thing. It also takes energy, you know, it takes certainly takes energy. And a lot of people of course, as we know, don't want to think too hard because they get a sore head from thinking. But the reality is there is the benefits are all based on at least looking at that. And remember, critical thinking is not thinking negatively. Again, it's actually for me, a very positive way of being well, who would you prefer as a question to you, someone who is solid and understands and can explain to you the dots as an example, and how it works, or someone who has fluffy answers that sell well, you know, fluffy, okay, so this is the key here, or not who I respect so remember, the critical thinking is more than just a skill. It's a mindset. It's a way of approaching the world with curiosity, healthy scepticism, a very positive word, healthy scepticism and of course, a thirst for understanding If it's a skill that will serve you well, I guarantee that in any field and in any circumstance at any stage of your life, certainly it has for me, and certainly for our company. So thank you for joining me on today's exploration. In the upcoming episodes, we'll continue our journey through the top skills that will enrich your life personally and professionally. Until then, remember that your personal brand is shaped by the skills you cultivate. And these skills are the building blocks of excellence. If you need some smart guidance, feel free to contact me. You can find my contact details in the episodes description. Thank you and until next time, cheerio.

Jon Michail’s Personal Branding Masterclass Podcast is sponsored by Image Group International, a global team of practical, digitally savvy personal brand and image strategists based in Australia, committed to maximizing your impact, influence and authority in the business world. To learn more and apply for your personal coaching, seminars and group workshops, please visit or call 1800 631 311.