top of page
  • Writer's pictureDeb McClelland, onBOARD Training

Are you a critical thinker, or just critical?

When I speak with boards about recruiting new directors, I talk about the importance of finding true leaders; influencers who will help their boards make good decisions and formulate solid direction for their organizations.

In order to develop a strong board, we need to have diversity of opinion around the boardroom table. If all directors think alike, a board’s decisions may not be thoroughly thought out. They may not have considered other perspectives. That means it is important to have different types of thinkers or decision-makers on our boards.

One such influencer is a critical thinker.

I am careful to describe this person as someone who can see all sides to a situation and help others to consider those perspectives before they all come to a decision together.

However, we must be able to discern the difference between a critical thinker and a critical spirit.

A critical spirit would believe their perspective is the only valid one to consider and would not accept the board’s decision if it contradicts their own opinion. A critical spirit is argumentative in board meetings and would speak negatively about the board outside of the boardroom.

A productive critical thinker delivers their message in a positive manner. They acknowledge that others have different opinions than themselves and agree that those opinions are also valid. They actually invite and enjoy thorough, healthy discussion. A productive critical thinker accepts the decision of the whole group and is supportive of the board outside of their meetings.

A critical thinker is therefore looked upon as being a positive influencer for the board and a valuable part of the team.

If you consider yourself a critical thinker, my question is – are you a positive influencer or are you just a critical-spirited person? I hope that you choose to use and develop your critical powers for good!

62 views0 comments

Recent Posts

See All

Is it the chicken or the egg for your board?

Creating your strategic goals when you do not have clarity on your governance style can lead to confusion in your strategic planning sessions. One director may have a completely opposite opinion of a

Put the cell phone away

One of my presentation slides elicited an interesting discussion the other day. An astute attendee asked about cell phones in board meetings - should we allow them and how do we create a policy around

Abolish the old Executive Committee

Background Let me first qualify my statement: I am talking about getting rid of the Executive Committee; not the individual board executive positions. Those are relevant and required by law! While ea


bottom of page