In the book “Asking the Right Questions, A Guide to Critical Thinking” M. Neil Browne and Stuart M. Kelley discuss the ten steps to critical thinking. In the following pages I will apply these steps to a memo that was sent to Mr. Robert Shaw of Triad Insurance Company of Indianapolis and discuss them in detail. The memo was from Ms. Denise Khali, Vice President of Human Resources. D. Khali, personal communication, October 04, 2010.
Step 1: What are the issues and conclusions?
The major issue discussed in the memo is that Ms. Khali does not agree with the training ideas that have been presented by Mr. Clarke, Director of Operations. She goes into detail in her memo discussing the reasons why she feels the training program is
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She has no way to determine if the training in the future would make the leaders even more successful. She also makes a value assumption that leaders have physical traits of tall stature. She is making a very dangerous assumption here that could open up EEO claims for the company. She has no way to determine if a person would be a successful leader or not due to tall stature. Another value assumption is she states that once they start sending employees for training then they will receive numerous requests for expensive training from employees. Again, there is no proof to support this statement within her memo therefore it is an assumption. Other assumptions that are made is when she questions if Mr. Clarke covets her position as VP of HR. She has no way of knowing if this is true or not. She doesn’t state anywhere in the memo that he has ever expressed an interest in her position therefore this is an assumption.
Step 5: Are there any fallacies in the reasoning?
One of the major fallacies I found in the paper was her example of leaders and some of the traits they possess, especially in her reference to height. She is stating in her memo that height is a contributor to success. In her memo, she refers to the success of Winston-Churchill, Mother Teresa and Martin Luther King. Directly following that she references height of other leaders being a