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Lessons
Learned: Completion of My First MBA Course

            I am not certain what I expected to learn when I first
entered the MBA program and saw that my first course was Critical Thinking. I
do not think I thought much of anything about it and felt very indifferent to the
topic. I anticipated it being a spin on an ethics course, but it ended up being
a course that provided me with the tools I would need to make it through the
entire MBA program, as well as my life. Through this course I found there were
some things I did well and I was encouraged to continue to work on these
things. I found some things I needed to improve upon and I still feel
encouraged to continue to grow in these areas. Overall, I have used my
education from this course and applied it to many concepts in my life to
accomplish tasks over the past few weeks.

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Lessons
for Home

In
observance of my religion, there are times when the elders will provide advice
that is meant to illicit change and growth within your life. The advice is
based on teachings told over thousands of years that have to do with a person’s
character traits, behaviors, ethics and social norms. I was surprised to find
that the course helped explain some of the ethical characteristics the elders
were trying to impress and that it was in-line with my tradition. I found
confirmation for myself, spiritually, to continue to use both what the elders
teach and what I have learned in this course to continue to grow as an
individual. Paul and Elder (2002, p. 75) define The Practicing Thinker, which
is what my tradition encourages through tough love at times.

Lessons
at Work

            Learning how to check myself is
important to me daily and all throughout our textbook were samples of how to
check your own thought patterns and emotions, and to consistently ask the
question “If I had to repeat today what would I do differently?”
(Paul & Elder, 2002, p. 79). This reflective quality is essential to me as
a manager because I always look for ways in every interaction that I could have
done better. I often wonder if I could have interceded sooner to better help my
employees be successful or when I should have stepped out of their way and
allowed them the opportunity for growth. I am learning to take each moment as
an opportunity to learn better ways of performing. 

In
expressing myself to other people who need to receive my messages properly,
Paul and Elder (2002, p. 129) refers to converting unclear thoughts to clear
thoughts. This has been a challenge for me that seemed to be growing. The in
depth questions within Chapter 7 help to provide a frame in which I use to
integrate my thoughts before attempting to express them either in verbal
communication or in written communication via emails or reports. Instead of a
rapid, disorganized response via email I am able to go through a process which
also allows me time to remove emotion from my thoughts before responding. This
process has increased my supervisor’s understanding of me, and has made my
communication very clear to my employees.

Lessons
in Life: Conclusion

            I am grateful for having taken this
course as it has had a direct impact on my home, my work, and my life as a
whole. I have learned how to have better interactions with people and how to
get the best out of my employees. I have learned what critical thinking means
to assessing your own character and ethical decisions. I have been able to find
out that I am not doing so terrible but there are areas where development would
greatly improve my life. I have learned that taking a breath before responding creates
an atmosphere of understanding and supports everyone involved in the
interaction.

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