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Components of Strategic Thinking

Before proceeding to examples of strategic thinking, please note that strategic thinking has two additional components. You will have these to add to your intellectual repertoire as you seek to implement any of the strategies outlined in this chapter:

  1. An identifying component. You must be able to figure out when your thinking is irrational or flawed.

  2. An intellectual action component. You must actively engage and challenge the acts of your own mind.

In the intellectual action component, you must figure out four things:

  1. What is actually going on in the situation as it stands.

  2. Your options for action.

  3. A justifiable rationale for choosing one of the options.

  4. Ways of reasoning with yourself when you are being unreasonable, or ways of reducing the power of your irrational state of mind.

Test the Idea
An Introduction to Strategic Thinking

Identify an area of your personal or professional life in which you use thinking that is possibly irrational. If you are having trouble, think of a situation in which you felt a powerful negative emotion and had difficulty dealing with it. Write out the answers to these questions:

  1. What is actually going on in the situation as it stands? Elaborate on the details.

  2. What are your options for action?

  3. Which option seems best? How do you know? Can you view the situation in any other competing ways?

  4. Construct the reasoning you need to rehearse when you are again in this situation or a similar situation. If you have trouble doing this activity, read the example in the next section.

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