October 27, 2021
Critical Thinking Skills
What is critical thinking? According to criticalthinking.org, it’s “the intellectually disciplined process of actively and skillfully conceptualizing, applying, analyzing, synthesizing, and/or evaluating information gathered from, or generated by, observation, experience, reflection, reasoning, or communication, as a guide to belief and action.”
To put it simply, critical thinking is the ability to think clearly and rationally, and understanding the logical connection between ideas. If you want to step it up at work, consider changing the way you think about projects or tasks and think critically to come up with stronger solutions.
In the workplace, critical thinking will set you apart from your colleagues. The best critical thinkers engage on a deeper, more intellectual level, have stronger comprehension and decision making skills, and are able to evaluate their own work to find ways to improve its quality.
First we’ll go over the steps to critical thinking.
- Identify the problem or question.
- Gather and organize relevant information, and search for different perspectives to avoid any biases.
- Analyze the data and evaluate the credibility of your sources.
- Think about the significance of the data you’ve gathered and decide which information is most important to the problem or question.
- Make an informed decision based on all of the evidence.
- Share your conclusion.
Next, we’ll go over how you can improve your critical thinking skills.
- Become more self-aware. Consider your morals, values, beliefs, and biases and how these might affect the way you handle certain situations.
- Understand your mental process and think about how you process and receive information.
- Develop foresight and consider how others might react to the decisions you make.
- Actively listen to those around you. Listen carefully when others are talking and empathize with them to foster stronger connections.
- Ask questions. This is perhaps the most important aspect of thinking critically. Confirm what you already know and clarify anything that is unclear or confusing, and ask follow up questions to gain further insight.
- Think about existing evidence. Draw from previous experiences and pieces of evidence you know to be true to help guide your critical thinking.