This is a complex definition for a complex concept. Though it might seem as simple as stepping back and using a formal thinking process instead of reacting instinctively to conflicts or problems, this is easier said than done. Critical thinking skills can and should be taught in the workplace so they become second nature.
Critical thinking is important because it ensures you have the best answer to a problem, with maximum buy-in from all parties involved — an outcome which will ultimately save your business time, money and stress. Here's how to understand, adopt and implement critical thinking in your workplace. David Welton, managing partner at Grove Critical Thinking , says critical thinking is "a teachable skill. If employers and employees alike don't think critical thinking is teachable, it is easy for it to be left by the wayside.
Both Lawrence and Welton recommend exploring critical thinking trainings and methods to improve your workplace's overall critical thinking proficiency. Those in executive and managerial positions can begin with an assessment of which areas of the workplace seem to be most lacking in critical thinking.
2. It enhances creativity
If mistakes are consistently being made, it is helpful to first explore whether the issue is a lack of critical thinking, not an inherent issue with an employee or group of employees. Then, you can research what trainings, coaches or curricula might fit your organization best. Critical thinking is all about solving problems through rational processes and evidence-based knowledge.
Like the scientific method, critical thinking contains a lot of steps, as Lawrence noted in her definition, but these steps will save a lot of time in the long run if mistakes can be prevented. Approaching problems with an independent, reflective thought process is one kind of critical thinking. Critical thinking forms arguments from evidence, while naming problems and assumptions that can get in the way of evaluating an issue for what it is. It's about solving problems in a process-centered way that capitalizes on knowledge and objective evidence — and in the business world, these skills save time and money from top to bottom.
Not only will it save your business costly resources, but critical thinking will also enhance other workplace skills , such as communication, creativity, analytical competency, emotional intelligence and general problem-solving.
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A hour news cycle and barrage of unchecked facts overloads our brains in and out of the workplace. I can use critical thinking to make educated decisions, negotiate better options for myself, and to get myself into win-win situations through creative problem-solving. When I approach any issue with an open mind, a general curiosity, an attitude of inquiry and the wherewithal to put two and two together without necessarily coming to a single, pre-determined answer, I can make innovations and positive changes in my world and in myself.
By answering the question, "Why is critical thinking important," I can discover for myself that great transformations can be achieved if I don't stop at the first correct answer I get; that there can be many right answers to any problem that may present itself. That realization, in itself, can be a tremendously liberating experience. Bright Hub Education.
Skip to content. More Info. Popular Pages Home. So many want to receive interview training that says if you complete these steps, you will have all that you need. However, the process is so much more complex and unique to the parties that are present. Critical thinking is essential to analyze the intersection between the asker and answerer of questions.
6 Benefits of Critical Thinking
Their personal dynamics, their bias, their experience. We must seek to understand all of those. Often we look for confirmation of our own beliefs, the easiest and fastest way out; this is not critical thinking. Employing the Socratic Method takes time, effort, understanding, and reason. Well, that is fine for interviewing, and its application in that sphere, but the reality is, it applies across the board in all of our life.
I just completed an article on adversity and resistance. I address more and more people that are frustrated with their precarious presence in our lives and are outraged by their toll on them, but the reality is adversity and resistance will always be with us. The question is how we handle them and critical thinking allows us to maximize our response, and ultimately builds lasting character. Critical thinking is one of the most important skills our children should be learning and practicing in school.
As information becomes more prolific and available, it is crucial for individuals to learn how to parse through the information available to form reasoned, well-thought-out conclusions and judgments.
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Traditionally, schools have focused on teaching children how to retain facts and figures — today we have all the facts we can ever need literally at our fingertips. What is vital now, not only for individual success, but for our collective growth, is the ability to take those facts and figures and analyze, create, and innovate.
We also need the ability to discern which information is pertinent and which is not, and which comes from reliable sources, and which does not. This can only happen with critical thinkers who have developed and practiced the skills and tools to use information effectively to develop insights. The ability to ask questions and probe deeply into any area of study — whether in sciences, humanities, the arts, or business — is key to expanding our knowledge as individuals and as a society.
We cannot predict the kind of environment our children will be living and working in decades from now, so as we prepare them to face a future that can look very different from our present, it is imperative that they have solid critical thinking skills. For example — how can we integrate science, math, and engineering to solve the problems of pollution and food security? Related: Critical Thinking Examples. How do we use what we know from neuroscience and sociology to create healthier, happier communities?
As technology advances and takes over much of our current work, how can we make sure technology is used in an ethical, fair, and safe way? These are the kinds of questions our children will face. Finding the answers to these questions requires thorough, methodical gathering and review of information, an ability to think creatively, and the communication skills to present conclusions effectively. Finally, critical thinking will help our children not just with academics and future employment but making important life decisions.
Having a framework to look at which factors are important and why, and being able to examine and prioritize different elements, will ultimately allow them to come to wise decisions.
How Critical Thinking Can Empower You To Do More And Succeed
People who have the ability to use logic and reasoning are far less likely to make mistakes and are more likely to be able to solve problems effectively. But, more than that, it allows us to make reasoned decisions about everything around us, from what we see in the media to politics to ethics. Perhaps one of the most important aspects of critical thinking is that it allows you to reflect on yourself , your individual values and beliefs, and make decisions accordingly.
People who are able to do this have the most meaningful and fulfilling lives. Critical thinkers are also people who are most likely to change the world or community around them for the better.
People with the ability to think critically can mix empathy and logic, without either dominating, meaning they can come up with effective solutions to social issues that really matter. Critical thinking is important because, apart from promoting analysis, evaluation, and inferences, it allows us to move past assumptions and self-perspective.
Without critical thinking, problems in our society such as the academic achievement gap or mental health issues would go unaddressed because people would not question them; they would not consider the underlining causes of such issues. Questions capture curiosity and curiosity birth research whether formal or informal. It also allows us to question our own biases and behaviors through self-reflection.
We are not egocentric and can understand the perspectives of diverse populations because we can, again, analyze and evaluate different experiences, ideas, and etc. Critical thinking is important as we are in the information age. Some folks will view data points with emotions and interpretations. The problem is, their interpretations are based on what they know and understand to be true or their interpretations are based on their limited value and belief system. Executive Consultant Keynote Speaker. As a former business executive and now the owner of a boutique organizational strategy consultancy, I see a lack of critical thinking as one of the major issues affecting business communication and results.