CRITICAL THINKING – an essential skill

That is the reason possessing the ability to think critically can make the difference between success and failure in one’s career and even other areas of one’s life. Critical thinking skills are of immense value to employers since employees who possess such skills can make a greater contribution to the job. Instead of irrational thinking based on assumptions and past experiences, critical thinking helps them go beyond the limitations of illogical thoughts, think out of the box and come up with unique solutions to various problems.

Critical thinking is a quality which is key to career success. The quality of our performance at work depends largely on the quality of our ideas and decisions. Employees who possess these skills become high performers and move up more rapidly in their career paths. Those possessing such skills also manage to reach the top positions in their organization. So, learning to master the skills related to critical thinking can have an extremely positive impact on our growth and profession.

Critical thinking is a set of skills which are thought to be more and more valuable in several professions. Especially those areas where you are required to analyze information, think creatively, solve problems and be able to plan strategically to achieve your goals. Two of the topmost in demand skills that employers are looking for in their employees today, include critical thinking and complex problem solving. Both these attributes are closely interlinked and play a significant role in contributing to success in the job and workplace. Employers value these two skills as the growing availability and complexity of information requires the ability to sift and sort out the chaff from the flour. Possessing this ability leads to success for the employee as well as the organization.   

There are some people who already have an analytical and diagnostic approach to life. Such persons are naturally inquisitive, investigative, and questioning and also open to accepting new concepts and ideas. They can detect any contradictions and inconsistencies in other peoples thinking, point them out and work on coming up with better options. Even if you do not possess critical thinking skills, it is a set of skills you can learn to develop within yourself.

The following critical thinking skills can be learned and applied for greater productivity and success –

  1. EXPLORATION – It is important to find out the facts about any situation. Explore and research the circumstances, discover the realities in terms of data and details before coming up with any arguments. Based on figures and arguments we can deliberate on different facts, think on then critically and come up with an opinion.
  2. RECOGNITION – Being able to detect and classify a problem will influence the requirement to think critically about it. Without detection and identification, it is difficult for a person to know the need to analyze a situation.
  3. SUPPOSITIONS – Without any assumptions and even deductions it is not possible to formulate any actions. After analyzing the facts available to us and processing the available information we are in the position to come up with a reasoned judgement and reach a conclusion.
  4. INQUISITIVENESS – Having a prying and curious mind is very useful in being a critical thinker. Learn to explore and question things that you want to know about. Possessing intellectual curiosity is a very valuable skill too, which can support you and help you to observe and identify things which you may not have noticed.
  5. PRECONCEPTIONS – Prejudices and partialities can influence how a person accepts and understands the facts which come in front of them. It helps to know when others have a bias and when a person themselves possesses one. Identifying biases in the workplace is important as inequalities can be identified and addressed as required.
  6. RELEVANCE – To make an assessment it is important to judge the applicability of the information available. Not all the available information is relevant to your requirements so making a critical judgement is relevant, so you do not spend time on details that do not matter in the analysis and desired outcome.

 Critical thinking is an important intellectual and reasoning skill that can help us to improve the quality of our thought processes and decisions. This cognitive skill can develop our ability to reason and reach balanced and logical conclusions. By improving the quality of our thoughts and choices we can improve our life both on the personal and professional front.

Better critical thinking skills can improve the quality of our judgements and decisions contributing to a positive change in our lives. We are constantly in a state of decision-making in all walks of our lives. By mastering the art of critical thinking, we can make a profoundly positive impact in all walks of our life. With the ability to show an interest in new things comes the habit of questioning, exploring and unearthing to reveal new thoughts and ideas. It is by raising questions that we can engage others in exploring a topic under discussion. We can seek out alternative possibilities and identify things that we would not have done otherwise.

The importance of critical thinking in reflecting on things and deciding on what to do cannot be denied. A very apt quote is given below –

“The important thing is not to stop questioning. Curiosity has its own reason for existing.”—Albert Einstein


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