Three Fundamental Skills to Engage in Better Critical Thinking
Critical thinking skills are extremely important at work. Employees often find themselves in situations where they need to apply critical thinking to solve complex work problems. If a person can analyze the problem and come up with an effective solution, work output will be improved.
There are three fundamental skills for engaging in effective critical thinking: the ability to reason, the ability to predict consequences, and the ability to evaluate the merit of potential conclusions or solutions. Focusing on these three fundamental skills allows the opportunity to become a better critical thinker.
Ability to Reason
The ability to reason is the act of applying systematic, logical reasoning to an issue. It’s spotting flaws, mistakes, or inconsistencies in logic or reasoning. It’s also the ability to surface hidden assumptions. Reasoning is the first important step in critical thinking.
Ability to Predict
Being able to predict is important to critical thinking. It’s the ability to identify consequences, especially negative unintended consequences, of any potential conclusion or course of action. If you can predict an outcome, you will be better equipped to deal with it.
Ability to Evaluate
Evaluating is assessing the merit of a conclusion by asking questions. Questions like “Is this conclusion fair and reasonable?” and “Is this conclusion based on a thorough examination of the issue, or was the process superficial?” will help you evaluate the potential conclusion.
Reasoning + Predicting + Evaluating = Critical Thinking Success
Applying these three fundamentals will make your critical thinking skills more effective, leading to many benefits. It can allow you to:
- Communicate more effectively with your manager and team members
- Better develop new policies and procedures
- Improve the value of written reports.
- Decide who to hire or promote
- Determine which new markets to pursue
- Improve customer service strategies and handle crises
- Predict the consequences of new actions or events
Develop your critical thinking skills further with HRDQ’s ‘Critical Thinking Fundamentals.’ This tool will help participants arrive at more stable, effective solutions and decisions through observing how to build the skills that are the foundation of the critical thinking process and learning how to apply a consistent thought process to any situation that requires a resolution or action.
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