Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Self-Assessment Through Critical Thinking is a Key to Productivity Within Police Departments

 Edward Brown, M.S.

What would inspire police personnel to dig deeper in providing better services to the public? Does policing cause employee burnout or is the employee doomed for failure from the start?   The sad fact is that many people are unproductive, because they have not developed the critical thinking skills to become more productive.  In part, it isn’t their fault.  My teachers up until college seldom asked me what I thought about anything. Kindergarten to Grade 12 education is fundamentally about remembering—facts, dates, and people.  It wasn’t until I went to college and later graduate school that I began improving my critical thinking skills. Fortunately, part of my graduate school experience included law school, where critical thinking is the core of the curriculum. So if I had to go to law school and later receive a master’s degree before I became an effective critical thinker, how could the average person become a better critical thinker without enjoying similar experiences? 

Whether you have a college or graduate degree or no degree at all, it is important to determine whether you truly have developed the critical thinking skills to be productive in the workplace, particularly within police departments.  It all starts with an adequate assessment of yourself.

Getting started

Although self-assessment, for some people in group settings, can be a good start in building a positive attitude and outlook in life, this might not be applicable to all people, especially to those who prefer to do things on their own. 

If you are one of these people, who would rather do things on his or her own, then now is the time to realize how a big self-assessment can contribute to your being more productive. Experts say that if one starts with the process of self-assessment now, it will be easier for him or her to be productive and accomplish greater things for themselves and for the people that they love in the future. 

Experts agree that for one to excel and be successful in life, the concept of productivity is very essential. This is because knowing how to be productive, even when you’re down, creates unforeseen opportunities unavailable during any other time.  Being productive also serves as an inspiration that keeps your spirit high no matter how challenging the times may be. This rang true when I served as a police officer with the Atlanta Police Department. At a certain point, most officers want a new challenge or change from the norm. Although policing is one of the most fascinating professions you can experience, after some time, activities can become routine. On many occasions, officers wanted more opportunities and felt these opportunities would somehow fall into their laps. Of course, that’s not how it works. Consequently, many police officers became less productive and did just enough to get by.  If critical thinking skills training was offered in the police academy or during In-service training, it could create a win-win  situation.  Police officers would know what to do to create opportunities within the police department that were self-fulfilling. And the police department would encourage innovative and ingenious ways for getting the job done.  

For those who want to start being more productive, it would be best to begin with a self-assessment by following these two tips:

- Discover and re-discover your purpose in life. Indeed, the most powerful thing that can help a person get started with self-assessment is discovering your cause or your purpose in life. Once you are able to do this, you can find a reason in your heart for becoming more productive. The reason may be for the betterment of yourself or for your family.  No matter what it is, it is important to anchor yourself to a motivation that promotes productivity. 

- Be thirsty and hungry for something. For people who are just starting out with the process of self-assessment, enjoy the process for the end result. This is because wanting to learn the concept of productivity alone would not fuel your drive to aim for greater things or heights.  If you really want to use self-assessment to excel and be productive, don’t be content with what you have right now nor merely go through the motions without an objective.

It is best to always be hungry for knowledge as fuel for learning. If you are consistently learning new things (inside and outside of policing), you will be able to acquire new skills and even boost your self-confidence in the end.  Although it may be unlikely or impractical to immediately enhance your critical thinking skills through formal education, if you can engage in some form of critical thinking training to improve your productivity, you are encouraged to do so. One of the greatest yearnings we have as human beings is to be seen as significant as well as leave a legacy that defines our life.  If we can understand and embrace our unmet need to create legacies, we will be moved to become more productive.

To gain the tools for becoming more productive through critical thinking, visit:

No comments: