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Contextual thinking skills leverage and extend collaborative capacity and perspective coordination skills. They are essential for constructing knowledge, resolving conflicts, solving problems, and making decisions—especially in complex situations. Like collaborative capacity and perspective coordination skills, they are required throughout our lives, but the development of contextual thinking skills is even more immediately and explicitly connected to Lectical Level (mental complexity). This is because contexts themselves are more or less complex, and an individual’s understanding of a particular context always hinges on how well its inherent complexity is understood.

This article builds on earlier articles in the series: VUCA unpacked (1)…


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This is the final article in the VUCA unpacked series.

Decision-making process skills leverage and extend collaborative capacity, perspective coordination, and contextual thinking skills. They are essential for addressing conflicts, solving problems, and making decisions — especially in complex situations. Like other VUCA skills, they are required and continue to develop throughout our lives.

This article builds upon earlier articles in this series: VUCA unpacked (1) — Introduction, VUCA unpacked (2) — Collaborative capacity, VUCA unpacked (3) — Perspective coordination, and VUCA unpacked (4) — Contextual thinking.

What are decision-making process skills?

We think of decision-making process skills as those skills that are called upon…


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Clarity skills help us make better arguments. They also predict, support, and influence learning and development.

What are clarity skills?

At Lectica (the nonprofit that owns me), clarity skills are defined as a set of interrelated skills required for making good arguments. We evaluate the clarity skills demonstrated in responses to our assessments using rubrics that focus on the clarity skills that can be observed in these performances. The information in this article relates to those rubrics.

We began measuring clarity skills because effectively communicating one’s point of view is an essential life skill. Without clarity skills, we cannot advocate for ourselves, our families, our communities, or our values. But clarity skills do much more for us than improving our…


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Perspective-coordination skills build upon and extend collaborative capacity skills. They are essential for constructing knowledge, resolving conflicts, solving problems, and making decisions. In other words, they are required throughout our lives for learning, working, living, and playing with others.

This article builds on earlier articles in the series: VUCA unpacked (1) — Introduction and VUCA unpacked (2) — Collaborative capacity.

What is perspective coordination?

Perspective coordination is a dynamic set of skills that supports human interactions by fostering mutual respect, nurturing creativity, expanding our minds, generating and developing ideas, leveraging conflict, and supporting healthy relationships. Robust collaborative capacity skills are a prerequisite for the…


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Now that Lectica First has hit the market, people are asking some very good questions about our flagship recruitment product. In this post, I’ll be providing short answers to a variety of questions, starting with questions about the applicant’s experience. Feel free to pose your questions in comments or by contacting us, then check in periodically to see the answers.

Learn more about Lectica First in the article, Recruitment disrupted.

Q1: Will Lectica First reduce the applicant pool?

Yes. We aren’t yet certain how large the effect will be, but because Lectica First Assessments require a time commitment of 45–90…


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In part two of this series about VUCA skills, the skill in focus is collaborative capacity. Collaborative capacity is one of four mega-skills that make up the meta-skill called “VUCA skills.” Collaborative capacity skills are the most foundational of all VUCA skills, in that they either support the development of other VUCA skills or are called upon when practicing other VUCA skills. Collaborative capacity skills include (1) self-regulation, (2) perspective-seeking, (3) perspective-taking, and (4) communication.

See VUCA unpacked (1)—Introduction, for general information about our approach to skills and skill-mapping.

What is collaborative capacity?

Collaborative capacity is the ability to work cooperatively with others in…


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The goal of this series is to demystify VUCA skills. You will learn what VUCA skills are, how they relate to one another, and how my colleagues and I leverage maps of VUCA skills to support optimal development.

VUCA is an acronym that stands for (Volatility, Uncertainty, Complexity, and Ambiguity). VUCA skills are required for effective performance under VUCA conditions. At Lectica, we’ve been studying and supporting the development of these skills since 2002.

We have found it useful to divide VUCA skills into four broad categories: (1) collaborative capacity, (2) perspective coordination, (3) contextual thinking, and (4) decision-making process…


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It all started when my daughter and I found ourselves exchanging ideas about possible predictors of facemask-wearing compliance. A few days later, I created a little survey designed to address the question, “What are some of the attitudes and beliefs that underlie facemask-wearing decisions?”

In this article, I describe the sample, variables, analyses, and outcomes of the facemask survey. If you aren’t particularly interested in the details you can get a good sense of what we learned by reading the next paragraph and the discussion at the end.

People are more likely to decide to wear facemasks if the considerations…


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An ideal recruitment process

After decades of research and development, my colleagues and I have launched an entirely new approach to recruitment assessment. This approach will improve recruitment outcomes, reduce bias, and lower recruitment costs while giving early adopters a big advantage over competitors in the recruitment market.

The predictive validity of recruitment assessments

For nearly a century, the most predictive recruitment assessments have been multiple-choice tests of mental ability. Their popularity has waxed and waned, but the evidence has been remarkably stable. Despite accusations of bias and irrelevance, their predictive validity is strong and undeniable.

Predictive validity is important. As Hunter, Schmidt, & Judiesch (1990) point out, “the use…


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Before you read this article, check out its predecessor, VCoL in action: skill mapping. In that article, I explained how to make a skill map. In the present article, I describe how you can customize your own skill-building itinerary by mapping the skills in LecticaLive’s assessment reports.

Below is the first section of a LecticaLive LDMA report. As you can see, the “Decision-making process” description in the first section lays out several components of the decision-making process skill. We think of the decision-making process skill as a mega-skill, so it’s useful to think of these component skills as macro-skills. …

Theo Dawson

Award-winning educator, scholar, & consultant, Dr. Theo Dawson, discusses a wide range of topics related to learning and development.

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