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6 key critical thinking skills

6 key critical thinking skills

You’ll need a variety of hard and soft talents to make progress, whether you’re seeking to live a more full life or merely work to enhance your performance at work. Some people are inherently gifted with certain abilities, while others must work hard to cultivate them. 6 key critical thinking skills

The ability to think critically is one of these. However, critical thinking itself is made up of a variety of abilities that help in problem-solving.

Let’s examine the various critical thinking abilities and how you might begin to develop them to advance your career. 6 key critical thinking skills

What is critical thinking?

 

The capacity for critical thinking is the capacity for unbiased fact analysis and judgment. A type of emotional intelligence, it.

When the occasion calls for it, a person with critical thinking abilities can think clearly and logically. They are able to make decisions and solve problems more effectively as a result. 6 key critical thinking skills

You can therefore look beyond what you initially notice. You can evaluate what you observe in a scenario and learn more than what is immediately clear to somebody looking in from the outside.

Understanding the relationship between two or more ideas or concepts logically is another requirement for critical thinking.

For instance, a team developing a company’s pricing strategy must critically consider a number of ideas. 6 key critical thinking skills

6 key critical thinking skills
6 key critical thinking skills

The sales and marketing departments must collaborate. They must research the best ways to increase sales. But they have to accomplish that while also achieving their profit targets. It’s critical to comprehend how marketing logistics and sales strategy are logically related. It’s the only method for ensuring success.
6 key critical thinking skills

Thinking critically differs from thinking creatively. The capacity to come up with original, cutting-edge ideas is known as creative thinking. However, to engage in critical thinking, you must carefully and logically evaluate the information that is presented to you. To achieve the best results in any situation, both are crucial.

5 characteristics of critical thinking

 

What is critical thinking, exactly? How does it impact the process of making decisions? The capacity for critical thought is comprised of the following five qualities.

1. Dispositions

Critical thinkers have particular characteristics that enable them to think in this way. While some people are born with certain traits, others must actively work on them.

These dispositions include, among others: 6 key critical thinking skills

Open-mindedness
respecting logic and proof
being open to taking into account various viewpoints and perspectives, or possessing cognitive flexibility
not being limited to a single position
Skepticism
Clarity and accuracy

2. Argument

6 key critical thinking skills
6 key critical thinking skills

Good critical thinkers must present compelling cases.

Making a claim and providing evidence to back it up is an argument. When you’re engaged in a productive dispute, it’s critical to employ well-thought-out arguments. You’ll need to develop a number of justifications for your conclusions when critically examining a circumstance in order to reach a conclusion. 6 key critical thinking skills

3. Reasoning

 

 

Critical thinking also calls for drawing conclusions from arguments. You must apply logic to the facts and arguments given to you in order to draw a logical conclusion.

The optimum line of action will be decided by this conclusion. 6 key critical thinking skills

 

4. Criteria

Sometimes, critical thinking involves separating fact from fiction. You might not always be confronted with facts that are equally true. A critical thinker needs to be able to see that certain requirements must be met in order for something to be accepted as plausible. 6 key critical thinking skills

 

5. Metacognition

6 key critical thinking skills
6 key critical thinking skills

The capacity to reflect on one’s own thinking is known as metacognition. Critical thinkers should be able to evaluate their ideas in order to determine whether or not they have considered everything. They can develop more accurate theories as a result. 6 key critical thinking skills

What are critical thinking skills, and why are they important?

The definition of critical thinking skills is “soft skills that support the critical thinking process.” Your capacity to think critically can be enhanced by developing these abilities.

The ability to think critically is seen as one of several transferable abilities in the workplace. Many of these are soft talents that can be applied in different contexts.

Critical thinking is among the top five most frequently requested lasting skills in job advertisements, according to data by America Succeeds. The top five hard skills are used 2.6 times less frequently than the top five durable skills. This demonstrates the need for soft skills like critical thinking abilities in the workplace. 6 key critical thinking skills

The importance of critical thinking abilities cannot be overstated. These assist you in problem-solving and autonomous work.

Not every job necessitates constant critical thinking. But everyone looking to further their career should have those talents. And even the least demanding jobs call for at least a basic level of critical thinking abilities.

For instance, the majority of the time, working as an accountant can be simple. But critical thinking abilities can be necessary. What happens, for instance, if some expenses are difficult to divide into straightforward categories? An accountant will find it difficult to work independently and come up with solutions on their own if they lack critical thinking abilities. 6 key critical thinking skills

Critical thinking skills are important in daily life as well. Having a solid foundation in critical thinking will enable you to evaluate many potential fixes for issues that arise in the house. You can benefit from it by:

Analyze various perspectives
Invent the finest solution

6 key critical thinking skills

 

We’ll look at the six critical thinking abilities you should develop and why they’re so crucial to the critical thinking process. 6 key critical thinking skills

1. Identifying biases

6 key critical thinking skills
6 key critical thinking skills

The sixth quality of critical thinking, metacognition, depends on this critical thinking ability. It entails being aware of your own cognitive biases as well as those of others.

Biases can affect how someone interprets the information that is given to them. But once you’re aware of them, you may challenge your own biases and take into account alternative viewpoints. 6 key critical thinking skills

 

It’s crucial to recognize biases, especially for those who make hiring decisions. This is because, if left unchecked, biases against particular minority groups might result in workplace disparities.

Consider a recruiting manager examining two resumes, for instance. Due to bias against the other gender, their intuition may lead them to reject one of the resumes. But suppose this hiring manager becomes aware of their prejudice. They might then contemplate whether or not their judgment is being affected by this prejudice. 6 key critical thinking skills

2. Inference

The capacity to make inferences based on information available to you. Without inference, it can be challenging to act once you’ve examined the information given to you. Being able to process information is essential for making a thoughtful decision.

For illustration, let’s return to the accountant who is having trouble categorizing a business expense properly. They can research other instances of similar circumstances and extrapolate the most logical category from that data. 6 key critical thinking skills

3. Research

 

Find out what the facts are first, then examine them and draw a conclusion. You can find data and facts to support a claim by using research skills.

You won’t always have access to the necessary information. To delve into a situation and obtain the data you need to analyze critically, you must have research abilities.

Some circumstances don’t call for more investigation. For instance, a first responder who arrives at the site of a vehicle accident won’t do additional investigation. They must evaluate what they see in front of them to determine which injuries require immediate medical attention. 6 key critical thinking skills

On the other hand, a person conducting a market study must investigate rivals and acquire data before coming up

4. Identification

When compared to inference and research, identification is distinct. It requires the ability to recognize an issue as well as the factors that are influencing it.

In other words, it takes identification for someone to know that they need to consider something critically. It might be challenging to recognize when to examine a scenario without the right identifying abilities.

Let’s use the scenario of entering data into a spreadsheet as an example. The statistics aren’t appearing as they typically do. Without the ability to recognize problems, it would be simple to carry on without understanding there was a problem. But once you figure out what’s going on, you can see that the formula in the spreadsheet has a flaw. 6 key critical thinking skills

The only time you can begin to analyze what’s happening is when you realize that the formula is incorrect.

5. Curiosity

6 key critical thinking skills
6 key critical thinking skills

Never be scared to challenge assumptions and investigate topics that pique your interest. This is due to the fact that intellectual curiosity is a useful trait, particularly when it comes to critical thinking.

Having a beginner’s mindset is one strategy for cultivating curiosity. You may maintain an open mind if you approach every issue with the perspective of a beginner. When keeping your mind closed, you might not have been able to observe certain things. 6 key critical thinking skills

6. Judging relevance

Not all information is relevant in the same way. It’s crucial to have the ability to determine whether the information you have is relevant before making a vital judgment.

Consider fundamental online research techniques. You have access to a wealth of knowledge on almost any subject imaginable. However, when conducting research online, you must continuously determine whether what you see is relevant.

Without using relevance judgment, you would waste too much time on things that wouldn’t have a significant impact on the desired goal. However, when you can identify what’s most important, you may give that information more weight while you’re critically thinking.

6 key critical thinking skills

Critical thinking example in real-life

 

So how would critical thinking be demonstrated in the real world?

Consider yourself a team leader for software quality assurance (QA). But because you must manually fill out the spreadsheet used for the regression, every time your team needs to enter a bug, it causes a bottleneck. Your team needs you to do this task so that they can work effectively.

Once a week, this procedure easily takes each team member a half-hour of their time. 6 key critical thinking skills

You must first determine what is occurring. Because you are the team lead and have access to the data needed to complete the regression spreadsheet, the team becomes constrained.

You can then do some information research. Higher-ups can be questioned about why only you have access to this information. Additionally, you can ask other teams for their ideas on potential fixes for this issue.

After conducting your investigation, evaluate the information’s relevancy by analyzing the data. That knowledge is no longer pertinent because some teams’ solutions don’t apply to you.

Before you examine your data, determine whether you have any personal biases.

You might not get along with one of the other team leads, for instance. You might therefore choose to ignore the information they have provided. However, by recognizing this prejudice, you may set aside your own judgment of this individual

Now that you’ve done some analysis, it’s time to think creatively and develop a solution. You recognize that saving time by writing a straightforward, automated script will benefit your team. And it will accomplish this without using an excessive amount of engineering department resources. 6 key critical thinking skills

Present your remedy to your manager next. Describe how you arrived at this decision.

Let’s assume that your spreadsheet automation solution has been accepted. It’s crucial to look back and evaluate what transpires after applying the solution. But wait till the spreadsheet has gathered enough data and been in place long enough to perform this.

Here is one instance. You could see that the bottleneck had indeed been fixed by the solution. However, the script also causes the spreadsheet to lag and is challenging to use.

 

13 ways to start thinking critically

 

Would you like to start honing your own critical thinking abilities? Here are 13 methods to help you develop your critical thinking abilities:

Play video games that need analytical thinking
additional inquiries, even simple ones
Challenge your presumptions
Improve your technical knowledge to make it easier for you to spot issues.
Find solutions to more issues, both at work and at home.
Learn to recognize your thought processes, such as the availability heuristic

Never follow someone else’s advice without first considering it yourself.
Look for different points of view
Start thinking forward by practicing active listening.
Consider the effects of several options before acting.
Find a tutor who can guide you in acquiring these abilities.
Get qualified coaching

 

How to improve your critical thinking skills

It can be challenging to learn how to think critically. But when you have someone to work with, it’s lot simpler to start exercising critical thought. To discover how a coach may assist you in honing your critical thinking abilities right away, try a personalized BetterUp demo.

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