Stepping in to the process of critical thinking

Stepping in to the process of critical thinking

Critical thinking is one of the most important components to success in life.  Whether on a personal level or in the workplace, critical thinking can change the way you not only act, but also react to those around you and therefore dramatically impact the outcome of every situation.  It can be the fundamental difference between someone who seems to “breeze” through life and someone who seems to “struggle” through life.

What is critical thinking?

Stepping into the process of critical thinking means you understand that there is more to every situation than what necessarily meets the eye and that you have the awareness of being able to utilise a variety of skills such as listening, being empathetic, understanding and rationale to formulate your response to any given situation.

To increase your capacity to be a critical thinker you need to be able to:

  1. Understand that there is a bigger picture than just what you can see.
  2. That what your situation relates to is far greater than just you but has a connection and impact with others around you.
  3. You need to look at each situation in an objective manner so that you don’t place preconceived judgments on the outcomes of a situation until you have weighed up all the facets of it.

How your emotions fit in

To ensure your level of awareness and responses remains on track it is also important that you be aware of the emotions being used when responding to a particular situation.  Whilst it is crucial that you employ the emotions of empathy and understanding it is also crucial that you do not allow the emotions of jealousy, hatred or anger to become involved as these will have a detrimental effect on any decision you make.

Know your facts

Utilising your critical thinking skills to assess every situation or decision will mean you are making a fully informed decision that not only benefits you or your company but that has also taken into account the impact on outside influences.   It will also ensure that others view your decision-making skills as sound and therefore respect your decisions as they know you have made them from a well-rounded view, not a judgmental view based purely on personal feelings.

Build a good reputation

Gaining the respect of your colleagues based on the way you make decisions and react to situations will also allow you to be more persuasive in future negotiations or decisions as they will recognise that your decision making is sound and not based on an emotional response.  You will also be considered as someone with good communication skills as you are able to relate to people at all levels and apply your critical thinking skills to all situations and this is a valuable asset for any organisation.

Keep your emotions under control

Critical thinking also allows you to have a much better understanding of your own emotions and when and how to use them in any decision making.  Rather than being someone who responds emotionally without thinking through a situation, you will have a well-rounded view of what is required for you to reach a satisfactory decision and will be able to do so without becoming emotional. This level of emotional control is part and parcel of an increased level of emotional intelligence which is a key feature in someone who can take on important decision-making or leadership skills.

Ultimately, your ability to utilise critical thinking will have a positive impact on your life and your career and is a skill well worth learning about and mastering.

If you need further information on how to implement critical thinking and master it as a necessary life skill, you might like to take one of the online courses available on our website.

Do you have any techniques or rituals you follow that have helped you to raise your critical thinking skills?  I’d love to hear about it. Please leave a comment and share it with us.

Glenise Anderson

Glenise is the Director of SR Group and Self Confident Women. Her passion lies in increasing confidence and emotional intelligence levels of individuals and teams, creating higher productivity and happiness. She is a speaker, qualified Trainer, Advanced Consultant in Extended DISC, Coach & Mentor.


No Comments Yet!

You can be first to comment this post!