Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Improving Your Critical Thinking Skills Like Charismatic Leaders (The IRAC Method)

Edward Brown, M.S., of Core Edge Image & Charisma Institute provides questions and answers on how you can make better decisions, solve more problems, and complete goals using the IRAC Method for critical thinking.

Q: Why is critical thinking important, particularly for charismatic leaders?

Brown: People often believe that the great visions and missions that charismatic leaders create are “Pie in the sky,” as oppose to a systematic approach to critical thinking. Charismatic leaders are voracious readers and analysts who develop ideas through extensive research.  Everything begins and ends in your ability to think effectively and execute a plan of action.

Q: So, what is the IRAC Method for critical thinking?

Brown: The IRAC Method is used in law schools to encourage students to think critically and systematically in dealing with issues of law. By enlisting the same method in any problem solving manner, you will improve your thinking skills. IRAC is actually an acronym for:

I---Issue. What is the issue or problem and the root causes of it?
R---Rules. What are the laws, regulatory mandates or industry standard that the problem falls under?
A---Analysis/Application----Where are the gaps in current solutions and recommendations and what alternatives should be considered?
C---Conclusion---What are the final results or recommendations for solving the problem?

Q: Do charismatic leaders use the IRAC Method as a de facto approach to solving problems or creating visions?

Brown: Charismatic leaders might use an abbreviated version of the IRAC Method, but the thought process is similar.  For example, charismatic leaders may determine a problem exists, develop immediate solutions, and begin acting on results. Martin Luther King, Jr. was good at strategizing a plan and implementing it using what was tantamount to the back of a napkin or envelope.

Q: So, the process is not long and drawn out?

Brown: It depends on the nature of the problem. The four (4) step process is the standard. The process for making the pieces fit together is totally individual. It’s not the length of the process, but the necessary thinking that goes into the process itself.

Q: If the IRAC Method solves problems and helps aid in creating missions, why are charismatic leaders often seen as not having a specific strategy for developing great visions and missions?

Brown: That’s the responsibility of researchers. Charismatic leaders are merely acting in ways that appear natural to them. It is the role of the researcher to extract and create a system from  the charismatic leader’s behavior. The charismatic leader will not necessarily market the process for developing a mission, but market the mission itself.  By using the IRAC Method for creating missions and solving problems, you can emulate the results of charismatic leaders.

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