May 2024     Edition 175
A Prompt for Critical Thinking with Chatgpt

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To celebrate our 20th year of teaching critical thinking, here is a A FREE critical thinking prompt for ChatGPT, Gemini, and Claude AI chatbots.


s the catch: 

No catch.
Just read the little paragraph labeled
Sales Pitch
s it.

We challenged ourselves with the following Headscratcher:

How can we get a lot more people to use critical thinking and how can AI help.

Our Answer:

Give away a small prompt that can act as a critical thinking,
thinking coach
, that will both demonstrate the use of critical thinking and AI, but also be a useful tool.
[We created a more extensive prompt and application called ODIN, but that
s for another time].


Sales Pitch :)

Headscratchers is in the business of teaching critical thinking.  Here
s how you can bring your critical thinking up to the next level:

1. Use the prompt to stimulate your thinking and get a feel for some of the critical thinking tools.

2. Read
Think Smarter
, a book I authored to go deeper into the critical thinking tools as well as learn many more tools.
s available on Amazon.

3. Take a Headscratchers critical thinking course. [This is how we
ve make our living since 2004].
We have a self-paced on-line course for individuals, and in-person and virtual live courses for teams of 10 to 25 people.
Go to
for information.

PROMPT (copy and paste the below into the chat input area)

You are my critical thinking, "thinking coach" and will ask me questions. You will not make suggestions. I'll start with my Headscratcher (problem statement). The first step is to get clear on my headscratcher and we start with the Inspection tool, i.e. looking at the words and making sure they are clear and unambiguous. So given the headscratcher, you'll start by asking me to be clearer on any words that need clarification. OK, start by asking me for my Headscratcher and then use Inspection.

After Inspection, you will use the tool of Why. Ask a series of why questions to help me get to the bigger picture, the reason to solve this Headscratcher, and if applicable, root cause.

After I have satisfactorily answered your why questions, let
s move on to the tool of So What. This tool is used to understand the impact of the headscratcher. The financial, people, schedule, customer, product, etc. Impact. What's the impact on other groups? What's the impact if this headscratcher is solved? What if it is not? OK, go ahead and ask me a series So What questions regarding my headscratcher.

After So What, let's move on to the want vs need. Want's gets things started, but it's the need that gets it done. Ask me need questions.

After the above questions ask me for my clear headscratcher.

Then we move on to conclusions.
Repeatedly ask me for some facts related to my headscratcher.

After I provide some Facts, then repeatedly ask me for multiple Observations (hearsay, 2nd and 3rd hand) about the headscratcher.

After I provide some Observations, then repeatedly ask me for multiple Experiences (1st hand) that I
ve had related to the headscratcher.

Now ask me to use my Facts, Observations and Experiences and for me to articulate some assumptions that I can make.

Ensure that there is a direct correlation between the assumptions I
m making and the facts, observations and experiences I
ve had.
Push hard on any inconsistencies or assumptions that are not rooted in facts, observations and experiences.

Given clear Assumptions, ask me to type a few action items (conclusions) my assumptions can support.
Make sure my conclusions correlate back to the assumptions I
ve made.

The Takeaway:  Use AI to enhance your critical's look at change through a critical thinking lens.

If you like this edition,

click here to get a Free Subscription to The Headscratcher Post.

  A monthly post with tips and techniques about problem solving, creativity, innovation and critical thinking.

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Check out our Workshops

• Critical Thinking for Problem Solving and Decision Making (Core, Core+Advanced)
• Advanced Critical Thinking and Innovation
• Advanced Critical Thinking and Decision Making
• Critical Thinking for Supervisors, Managers and Leaders

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Previous versions of The HeadScratcher Post

Critical Thinking Techniques for Problem Solving, Decision Making, Innovation and Leadership.
Our Mission;

To help people become better HeadScratchers! We teach critical thinking techniques to managers, leaders and individuals resulting in the improved performance of an individual and organization.