Business Blog – Metacognition and Peak Performance
Are you aware that human beings are the only species on earth who have
the ability to evaluate their thinking? Metacognologists believe that
the ability to consciously think about thinking is unique to
homosapient species and indeed is one of the definitions of sapience.
Metacognition refers to a level of thinking that involves active
control over the process of thinking that is used in learning
situations. Planning the way to approach a learning task, monitoring
comprehension, and evaluating the progress towards the completion of a
task: these are skills that are metacognitive in their nature.
Similarly, maintaining motivation to see a task to completion is also a
Individuals with a high level of metacognitive knowledge and skill
identify blocks to learning as early as possible and change “tools” or
strategies to ensure goal attainment. The metacognologist is aware of
their own strengths and weaknesses, the nature of the task at hand, and
available “tools” or skills. A broader repertoire of “tools” also
assists in goal attainment. When “tools” are general, generic, and
context independent, they are more likely to be useful in different
types of learning situations.
Executive management skills involve planning, monitoring, evaluating
and revising one’s own thinking processes and products. Strategic
knowledge involves knowing what (factual or declarative knowledge),
knowing when and why (conditional or contextual knowledge) and knowing
how (procedural or methodological knowledge). Both executive management
and strategic knowledge metacognition are needed to self-regulate one’s
own thinking and learning.
Metacognition helps people to perform many cognitive tasks more
effectively. Strategies for promoting metacognition include
self-questioning (e.g. “What do I already know about this topic? How
have I solved problems like this before?”), thinking aloud while
performing a task, and making graphic representations (e.g. concept
maps, flow charts, semantic webs) of one’s thoughts and knowledge.
A. Do you believe thinking about what you think can help you get better results?
B. Do you believe there is a cause and effect relationship between your thinking and your results?
Most people might say that their thinking is fine, it’s the results
that need improvement, or that they are too busy to think about what
they think about, and their thinking has nothing to do with what
happens in the real world.
Quite the Contrary!
It has been proven that the more aware you are of what you are THINKING
about, the easier it is to improve your thoughts and thus your
performance. Because ultimately each of us become what we think about,
and as you upgrade your thinking your performance will change
accordingly. Once you have established a higher plane of thinking you
will more likely become more like what you think about.
Each of us can build the habit of using metacognition and to continue
asking ourselves “…. Is this thought moving me closer to or farther
from my ultimate vision?” When we truly understand the cause and effect
relationship between thinking and vision, we will place ourselves in
the best position to move forward and accomplish our goals. For top
performers in any profession, it all begins first with what is happening inside the mind.
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