Thanks to social media and its deluge of information the term “critical thinking” is becoming an increasingly popular term. But what is critical thinking and why it matters in the workplace?
This is a metacognitive process, that is, a way of thinking about the way we think. Critical thinking helps us evaluate information more accurately and gain a better understanding of complex problems, two skills that can prove invaluable in the workplace.
From the type of questions you should ask to the key habit you should adopt to become a better thinker, these guidelines will help your organization reap the benefits of critical thinking.
Adopt a Critical Thinking Mindset
Some people associate critical thinking with courses taught at university level. And while it’s never too late to enjoy the benefits of critical thinking, it’s best to familiarize your children with this frame of mind as soon as possible. Needless to say, you can’t use complicated logical terms with them, but you can take some simple steps to get them started in the everyday applications of critical thinking. For example:
- Ask a lot of open-ended questions
- Differentiate ideas from opinions
- Ask team members how they would solve a specific problem
- Encourage people to offer opinions
Reading is Key
The importance of reading in the development of critical thinking cannot be overstated. Reading helps you gain an almost intuitive understanding of how to structure ideas. In addition to the obvious advantage of increasing your expertise in your field, reading has many other useful benefits, including improving concentration, enhancing empathy and helping you learn to evaluate information .
Ways To Develop Critical Thinking
Practice makes perfect, and critical thinking is no exception to this centuries-old rule. These are some activities you can do with your children to teach them how to assess the information they come across:
- Work through a challenge backwards
- Use different mediums to express ideas (written, graphics, numbers)
- Explain processes as if talking to a six-year-old
- Open yourself to new content
- Maintain a journal to analyze successes and mistakes
- Analyze your own writing
- Use brain teasers and logic puzzles
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