You hear about all these skills each company needs to guarantee success, but perhaps none are as important as this one: critical thinking. So why is this one skill so important? Let’s find out!
Thinking Fast and Slow
by Daniel Kahneman
⏱ 12 minutes reading time
🎧 Audio version available
First, let’s discuss: what is critical thinking?
Critical thinking is an objective way to think, a way to be analytical in order to solve a problem. It solely draws on logic and reasoning.
Where is critical thinking necessary?
You can actually find that critical thinking is needed in nearly every field out there. Doctors, lawyers, engineers, analysts, and more use it in their everyday lives.
According to the World Economic Forum, critical thinking is ranked as one of the most important and desirable skills to possess. But what does it exactly help achieve? Let’s see.
Helps You Save Both Time and Money
Yes, critical thinking helps solve problems with unique, innovative solutions, think out of the box, and have clear, systematic plans. Still, nothing appeals to businesses more than something that offers a solution to save both time and money.
See, for twenty-four hours of the day, your brain is being overloaded with information. But unfortunately, a lot of it is unchecked and unverified facts. So in an actual workplace, that can lead to misinformation spreading, hasty thinking, and eventually, bad business decisions.
Critical thinking prevents overly costly mistakes from taking place.
Improves Language Skills
Believe it or not, but this skill directly benefits another unexpected one. Think about it: to fully express yourself, you need to have the ability to think clearly to articulate in the best way you can. In other words, you need to use critical thinking!
What it does is help break down thoughts and help you not become overly hasty or rushed in making a decision or saying something you will regret. Ultimately, it improves your comprehension ability as well.
Critical thinking also makes us better communicators. Unfortunately, not a lot of people are that talented at carefully articulating their thoughts and positions. It’s no one’s fault. They already know the information they need, but it takes more effort to put it eloquently. It also takes more effort to filter out what you need to say from the relevant to the irrelevant. However, they can improve those skills and engage people in meaningful discussions.
Form Well-Informed Opinions
Again, a lot of the time, we’re being bombarded with false information. Whether it’s through the Internet, gossip, or misinformation spreading around the office or industry, in this overabundance of information, critical thinkers are able to come out on top.
They can decide for themselves what’s real and what’s not, what their viewpoint supports, and what doesn’t, and ultimately form their opinions. Critical thinking ensures that your opinion is based solely on facts, not others’ biased opinions. It also helps filter out the extra background information or noise.
This skill comes with a natural curiosity for everything about life, so forming an educated opinion is a win-win. The majority of critical thinkers in the business world have a tendency to pursue several interests. They’re always asking questions and wanting to know specific details about what this thing is, how it works, why, when, where, et cetera. At the end of the day, they don’t take anything at face value; therefore, they are always doing their best to form well-informed and educated opinions.
There is a misconception about critical thinking that this skill ends up causing problems in the long-term in your relationships, both professional and personal, but that’s simply not true.
Being a critical thinker means you can actually understand the perspective and opinions of everyone around you better. That means you end up becoming more open-minded when dealing with people with different views of something.
After all, critical thinking is a bit of an umbrella term. Below it, key skills are “analysis, interpretation, inference, explanation, self-regulation, open-mindedness, and problem-solving.”
In business, not everything is, well, business. There is a lot of networking, discussions, and friendly and beneficial relationships you need to cultivate with your boss, coworkers, and colleagues. Since work is more than just exchanging emails and information, the part where critical thinking comes in handy with understanding the needs of others.
A critical thinker can even anticipate how a person might respond to them. Therefore, they can develop firsthand a strategy on how to communicate best. In the end, it helps reach a mutual understanding when others may not be able to do the same.
Critical thinkers can be applied to both written and verbal communication. This is why it’s so important. As a result, the company now has a better and more transparent– and more effective exchange of information.
As each employee feels seen, acknowledged, heard, and respected, this transparency and incredible communication leads to more benefits, such as increased productivity.
Enhances Your Problem Solving Skills
Ultimately, the best part about critical thinking and why it’s so raved on about and credited with business success is this: it dramatically enhances your problem-solving skills and ability.
Those who develop critical thinking skills end up solving problems instinctively. They also approach it in different ways and have the ability to treat them with patience and dedication.
An example of this comes directly from the genius and legend himself, Albert Einstein, believe it or not. One of his most famous quotes is, “It’s not that I’m so smart; it’s just that I stay with problems longer.”
Those who are better problem solvers, critical thinkers are naturally better at their jobs. You’ll find them solving problems no one could ever touch or crack.
Critical thinkers also have the advantage of being able to make the best choices. Why? Not only do they possess unparalleled patience, but they can face everyday problems head-on. Sometimes, they even do it subconsciously, trusting their gut feeling.
And that is why critical thinking is such an important skill, a must-have for business success. It seems unfathomable that a workplace can thrive without it. Now, are you ready to apply it to your business and everyday life?
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