No matter what walk of life you come from, what industry you’re interested in pursuing or how much experience you’ve already garnered, we’ve all seen first-hand the importance of critical thinking skills. In fact, lacking such skills can truly make or break a person’s career, as the consequences of one’s inability to process and analyse information effectively can be massive.
What is critical thinking?
Critical thinking is the analysis of an issue or situation and the facts, data or evidence related to it. Ideally, critical thinking is to be done objectively—meaning without influence from personal feelings, opinions or biases—and it focuses solely on information.
Critical thinking is a skill that allows you to make logical and informed decisions to the best of your ability. For example, a child who has not yet developed such skills might believe the Tooth Fairy left money under their pillow based on stories their parents told them. A critical thinker, however, can quickly conclude that the existence of such a thing is probably unlikely—even if there are a few bucks under their pillow.
Critical thinking skills allow you to understand and address a situation based on all available facts and information. When using these skills, you will sort and organize facts, data and other information to define a problem and develop effective solutions.
Why is it important?
Critical thinking skills are important because they help businesses run smoothly by solving problems, developing solutions and creating new ideas. Many areas of improvement like process inefficiencies, management or finances can be improved by using critical thought. Because of this, employers’ value and seek out candidates who have demonstrated strong critical thinking skills. With critical thinking skills, people will be able to think well and solve problems in critical times.
How should you improve your critical thinking skills?
To improve your critical thinking skills, consider taking some of the following steps:
- Expand your industry-specific or technical skills to help you more easily identify problems
- Take additional courses in your industry that require critical thinking and analysis
- Actively volunteer to solve problems for your current employer
- Seek advice from professionals in your field or desired industry
- Play solo and cooperative games that require critical thinking skills, such as analysis and inference
However, critical thinking skills will not improve over 1 to 2 days. To become one takes time, practice, and patience. With a heart to become a critical thinker, you will definitely improve and ultimately reach your desired goal.