Critical thinking skills are, well, critical in the workplace. From helping employees solve problems to ensuring they can build strategies that make them better at their jobs, this skill is something all professionals need. But what exactly is critical thinking, and why is it so important in the workplace? Here’s what you need to know:
What is Critical Thinking?
When you use critical thinking skills, you’re essentially deploying rationality to determine the best solution to a problem. If you have this skill, you’re reflective, competent, and independent. By deploying critical thinking, you’ll be able to connect ideas and evaluate arguments logically. It also allows you to spot errors in your work and that of others to engage in reflection.
But critical thinkers aren’t only good at gathering information says online job aggregator Adzuna. They know how to best use the information to conceptualise outcomes. Considered a soft skill, this skill is something inherent in personality, but it is also possible to develop this skill.
Why Critical Thinking Matters in the Workplace
It’s a requirement in some professions
Careers in law, research, education, finance, and research all require employees to display critical thinking skills. Whenever the goal is to deduce information objectively, analyse it, and solve creative problems with the information at hand, this skill is a prerequisite.
It improves decision-making skills
Critical thinking can help you make more informed decisions about life-changing events like a career change. It enables you to focus outside of the initial emotional response that you might have when something significant needs to be decided on.
Critical thinkers are happier people
Because this skill helps people to better understand themselves, their goals, and motivations, promoting personal growth and overall happiness levels. Critical thinkers also have the ability to look at challenges from unique perspectives, which makes them more self-reflective as well.
How to Improve Your Critical Thinking Skills
Carefully consider new information
The first step toward developing your critical thinking skills is only to accept information after you’ve evaluated it. Always strive to find the objective truth. Consider possible challenges and solutions of new information and don’t simply accept it because you read or heard it somewhere.
Evaluate the source
Where are you getting your new information from? If you’ve just seen a new advertisement, consider the fact that the marketing technique is designed to sell something and might be targeting potential bias. Always consider the source of new information and the reason why you’re receiving this new information.
Questioning information is an important skill to master to develop your critical thinking skills. Consider different ways for problems to be solved. Question the motives of why new information is being provided. Think about the perspectives that others might have on the topic. Ask about the kind of research the topic in question is backed by.
After questioning new information and its sources, you need to form your own opinion. But to do that, you need to do some research first. Syndicated news sites, educational institutions, and non-profit organizations are all great online resources that can help you learn as much as possible about a new topic.
You might already have many of the skills we’ve just listed, but there is always room for improvement. You can continuously improve your critical thinking skills through additional training and continual practice. This soft skill is valuable for all aspects of your life and benefits problem-solving, creativity, and teamwork. It also translates particularly well to the workplace, where it can distinguish you as a valuable employee and a team player!