© Image: guliveris / stock.adobe.com
Radu Atanasiu

Critical Thinking for Business

  • PRO
  • 15 h 05 min
  • English
  • Communications
  • 39
  • Certificate included

What is the course about?

In the World Economic Forum 2016 report "Future of Jobs", chief HR and strategy officers from leading global employers predicted that Critical Thinking will become the 2nd most important skill for employees by 2020. It's no surprise. In today's rapidly changing business landscape, knowing how to quickly navigate complex problems, break down constant incoming information and respond to new situations puts professionals at an incredible advantage.

Do you need to convince a client? If you structure your proposal like a mathematician and write it like a columnist, you will. This course will provide you with better tools for understanding and approaching challenges in today's business environment. We will analyse the logical structure behind business proposals, business strategies and everyday plain communication, in order to make more informed and better decisions. We will test the assumptions and hypotheses in our business models, understand the mechanisms of bad reasoning (fallacies) and learn how to respond to and avoid being misled in communication. Cognitive biases affect our behaviour as consumers, managers or entrepreneurs - in this course, we will understand how that happens and how we can combat as well as work with these biases. Finally, you will better discover your own ways of thinking, both conscious and unconscious, testing and challenging your own cognitive strengths and weaknesses.

Course Structure

Chapter 1: Introduction

What is Critical Thinking and why is it important in the business environment?

Chapter 2: We think in arguments

We get to see the logic structure behind any text or speech in business communication. We learn when to trust statements, hidden assumptions, opinions and beliefs (including our own). We evaluate business proposals, business strategy, in order to be able to make better decisions. All this will be organised with a step-by-step approach alongside relevant examples.

Chapter 3: Don't be fooled! Fallacies and Cognitive Biases

We are often misled by bad reasoning (fallacies), regardless if the bad reasoning comes from the others (with or without intent) or from ourselves. Sometimes we make mistakes without thinking at all (cognitive biases). But when such concepts can be named, studied and exemplified, we are less likely to err again. In this chapter there is also a unit on the smart use of heuristics in business.

Chapter 4: Test your assumptions

All the things that we know about the way our world functions (all sciences) are based on the scientific method. The corner stone of validating a scientific theory is designing and conducting well thought out experiments. Why shouldn’t we do the same in business? Every strategy is based on some assumptions and hypotheses. Instead of basing our business conduct on a hunch, let’s recognise our assumptions and then design and conduct clever tests for them.

Chapter 5: Persuasion

We will put our skills to work and construct good arguments in order to be persuasive in writing, debates and pitches.

Chapter 6: How to be a critical thinker in a post-truth world?

Today's media is dominated by post-truth in ways that were unthinkable two decades ago. We get most of our news from Facebook, we live in bubbles and echo-chambers. And this influences greatly our lives and our businesses. We dissect the phenomenon and provide some tools to tackle it.

Chapter 7: The courage to change your mind

Once we master critical thinking skills, we need to use them charitably and responsibly. Most importantly, we need to start by using them on our own businesses and on ourselves. It is easier to use critical thinking on the others, and not on ourselves, on our own strong beliefs and old misconceptions. We describe 9 mechanisms through which our minds cling to old beliefs (among these - groupthink, cognitive dissonance, backfire effect) and ways to counteract these mechanisms..

What is included in this course

By enrolling in this course, you will gain access to:

• All Course Material

• Challenging & Fun Assignments

• Interactive Global Community

• Flexible Time Management

Upon completion of this course, you will receive:

• A Statement of Participation

In addition, this course offers flexible time management. With a workload of 12-16 hours, the suggested course length is about 4-5 weeks. If you can’t spare 3-4 hours a week or would rather finish the course faster, you can do so as well. Take as little or as much time as you need and complete the course at your own pace.

Want to discover the online learning experience?

Course content

Chapter 1
1. Intro
1.1 Course structure. Here we go again!
1.2 How rational are we? Why did I buy this beer?
1.3 Why Critical Thinking in business? And what does "critical" mean, anyway?
Chapter 2
2. We think in arguments
2.1 What is an argument? A little alchemy of the mind
Assumptions exercise step 1
Assumption exercise step 2
2.2 Hidden premises/assumptions. Back to the startup pitch
2.3 How does an argument work? Is Coca Cola a Chinese company?
2.4 How do we analyze an argument? Power to the women!
2.5 Assessment tools. Power to the men! (at least in France)
Argument analysis 1
Argument analysis 2
Argument analysis 3
2.6 Complex arguments. I think therefore I am
2.7 Complex argument analysis. Advertising on Facebook
Complex argument analysis 1
Complex argument analysis 2
Chapter 3
3. Don’t be fooled! Fallacies and cognitive biases
3.1 Fallacies. How did you manage to deceive your clients for so long?
3.2 Fallacies. But Germany is led by a woman!
3.3 Name that fallacy! Tax cuts for fashion
3.4 Ten fair play principles in argumentation. Really listen!
3.5 Cognitive biases. The "What the hell!" effect
3.6 Cognitive biases. The fascination of free
3.7 Instinct and heuristics. Sense and sensibility in business
The saga of buying a house
Chapter 4
4. Test your business assumptions
4.1 In praise of science. Astronomers vs. astrologers
4.2 Test your assumption. How to sell a Volvo
4.3 Classic test mistakes. On root canals and risky strategies
Test your business assumption
Chapter 5
5. Persuasion
5.1 Reasoning in Writing. When is micromanagement acceptable?
5.2 Reasoning in writing. Does your team avoid you?
5.3 Pitching. You are the star
5.4 Debates, Sexy arguments and the definition of "success"
5.5 The emotional tools. "Holidays are coming"
Please write an argumentative essay!
Chapter 6
6. How to be a critical thinker in a post-truth w…
6.1 Post-truth, bubbles, polarization. The Pope voted for Trump from Macedonia
6.2 News literacy. snopes.com, factcheck.org, hoaxy
6.3 Sources. We are 13.7 billion light-years from the edge
6.4 Trust and civility. The Pygmalion effect
Chapter 7
7. The courage to change your mind
7.1 A flexible mindset. Was Jack Welch wrong?
7.2 Mind locks. JFK's "colossal mistake"
7.3 Mind locks. Why am I not at home at this late hour?
Challenge your strong belief
7.4 Wrap up and goodbye

What will you learn?

Participants will be able to see and evaluate the logic behind business communication, structure better arguments in order to become more convincing, avoid rational and irrational pitfalls, know how to test strategies before deploying and challenge their own habitual thinking patterns.

What is the target audience?

No prior knowledge is needed for this course, participants should only come open- and fair-minded.

If you are an economic actor or working in a business environment, this PRO course is for you. The course provides useful insights for employees, managers, entrepreneurs, young professionals entering the job market, as well as all of us day-to-day consumers.

Course instructors


Course access including certificate

Get access to the content of the course and verify your course participation and learnings with an official document.

39 €*

Organisations & Groups

If you are interested in purchasing several course accesses for your employees or a group of people, click the button below.

(price varies depending on access amount)

* Our prices include VAT

Have a question?

We are ready to help you!

Support Kite illustration

Have a question?

We are ready to help you!

Corporate clients please use our B2B contact form

For questions regarding the course contents please contact our customer support