Critical Thinking: Become an Exceptional Critical Thinker

critical thinking

 

Critical Thinking is a skill you attain developing your judgments by thinking open minded, logically and coherently. By becoming a good critical thinker, you become a more independent and self-directed learner. In this simple course, we will take you through a step by step process of how to improve your critical thinking skills by learning how to become a more fair-minded thinker.

Every person can improve their critical thinking skills helping them take accurate decisions in their daily life routines at school, university, organization or simply at home. By becoming a good critical thinker, you become a more independent and self-directed learner.

Reasons Why Critical Thinking is Important  

Critical Thinking is a skill you attain developing your judgments by thinking open mindedly, logically and coherently. By becoming a good critical thinker, you become a more independent and self-directed learner. Every person can improve their critical thinking skills helping them take accurate decisions in their daily life routines at school, university, organization or simply at home. 

Here are the 7 reasons why we advise practicing critical thinking skills: 

  1. Critical Thinking encourages independency. Learning how to think critically teaches you to be more independent. You do not rely on others and you take full ownership of your strengths and weaknesses. This helps you avoid mistakes improving your judgmental and evaluation skills to a whole new level. 
  2. Critical Thinking improves your self-evaluation. Thinking with reason and making logical justifications helps reflect your own values and decisions in good way. Critical thinking is considered as an important asset for one’s own well-being. 
  3. Critical Thinking promotes good language and presentation skills. By thinking critically you can present your thoughts in an organized manner. Analyzing your data logically helps you express your idea more effectively.  
  4. Critical Thinking encourages creativity and innovation. By thinking ‘out-of-the-box’, you come up with new ideas and creative solutions allowing you to explore alternative options. As opposed to narrow thinking, critical thinking frees your mind and motivates you to understand other situations around you. 
  5. Critical Thinking encourages good decision-making. Being a good, systematic and logical thinker allows you to coherently outline possible solutions to your problems. By doing that, you can then easily visualize the best of these solutions and thus, apply it accordingly. 
  6. Critical Thinking encourages scientific discoveries and theories. Science involves theory creation. However, in order to confirm these scientific theories both experimentation and reason are necessary. So critical thinking is and will always be one of the main foundations of science. 
  7. Critical Thinking keeps us up-to-date with our 21st century economy. As you already know, our economy today is based on information and technology. It is changing quickly and effectively. Analyzing information and solving problems systematically helps us adapt to this fast-changing workplace.  
  8. So as explained, it is vital to possess good critical thinking skills full of reason and logic. Learning how to master thinking analytically and systematically is considered a valuable asset for any career! 

 

See also: Creative Thinking

 

3 Kinds of Critical Thinkers  

Critical Thinking can be taught at an early age and the younger you start the faster and easier it is to master thinking helping you become an excellent leader in the future.  

As we grow up most youth could be categorized in one of the following categories of thinkers: 

  1. Naive thinkers believe everything they hear. They don’t like to ask questions and they go along with whatever their friends say or tell them to do. They don’t bother themselves to think, they rely on those around them to do the thinking.  
  2. Selfish thinkers are smart but they don’t care about others. They think a lot but only to manipulate other kids to get what they want, regardless of who gets hurt. It’s great if these thinkers redirect this intelligence towards good behavior rather than bad. 
  3. Fairminded thinkers don’t believe everything they hear. They are smart and empathetic. They love to learn, ask a lot of questions and care dearly about others. Such thinkers have the potential to become great, wise critical thinkers that will make a difference in this world. 

It’s our role as a society to help everyone become more fair-minded thinkers. Doing that is the first step towards bringing up successful future decision makers and problem solvers! 

Stages of Critical Thinking Development 

Practicing good critical thinking at an early stage makes it easier to further enhance your way of thinking. Critical thinking involves a number of significant steps you are advised to follow. The order of the steps listed below is very important.  

So here are the 6 stages of Critical Thinking Development: 

  1. Acquiring sufficient knowledge to be able to point out the main topic that is being addressed. Learning more and educating yourself about the environment around you gives you a clearer picture of what is actually needed.  
  2. Comprehending well what you have attained in stage 1 by relating it to what you already know. Researching data happens in this stage. Building up your information helps you understand well what issue is placed on hand. 
  3. Applying what you have already acquired and comprehended to an actual project. Visualizing the information you have by making it applicable to your daily life. 
  4. Analyzing the data you have collected by breaking it into smaller steps in order to understand the details clearly. Interpreting and organizing the data collected by looking for similarities and differences. At this stage, data can be placed in charts or graphs. 
  5. Synthesizing the data researched by statistically combining them together and logically linking the relevant information to the topic issued. This is closely connected to determining the importance of the data analyzed.  
  6. Interpreting and evaluating data after it has been analyzed and synthesized is important to draw valid conclusions. This stage involves finding solutions and taking wise decisions accordingly. Sometimes letting your emotions take over can push the evaluation to an earlier stage. Never rush into this stage. Evaluation should be the last stage of critical thinking.   

So we advise you to follow each stage above while making decisions in your business. Becoming more experienced with critical thinking enables you to assess your own learning styles thus strengthening your abilities!  

Qualities of a High-Standard Critical Thinking

In our lives today, we explain what we see using logical justifications. In business projects, a problem is solved when we find the source causing it by gathering enough information to prove it.  Mastering this way of thinking takes time and effort. You should work to improve certain qualities in order to become an excellent thinker. 

Here are 5 qualities of an exceptional critical thinker: 

  1. Excellent thinkers are fair-minded. They accept other perspectives and have sufficient comprehensive skills to examine problems from all sides.  
  2. Making no personal judgments is a quality of a high-standard thinker. By relying on facts rather than opinions and emotions, these thinkers make wise decisions. 
  3. Critical thinkers are best when they don’t believe everything they have is true. Regularly checking the credibility of their sources makes them less likely to fall for traps. 
  4. Being self-aware and rational are both qualities of a successful thinker. A good thinker knows his strengths and weakness and therefore approaches them wisely. Believing in the voice of reason and logic, critical thinkers can solve problems in a healthy and efficient way.  
  5. Excellent thinkers believe that mastering efficiency is the key to a successful business. They believe it is important to be smarter not to work harder. For example, discovering shortcuts if time is an important factor in your project. 

We advise that you follow the suggested qualities mentioned above in order to WOW yourself to become a one-of-a-kind, talented critical thinker that all businesses dream to have on board! 

 

See also: Develop Strategic Thinking in your Organization

 

Common Mistakes Our Critical Thinking Mind Can Make 

The human mind controls every aspect of our lives. We can program our mind to take the right decisions by separating facts from our personal opinions and emotions. We can train the way we think making us more rational and self-aware. Knowing what we do wrong helps us control our mistakes and prevent us from repeating them. However, even if we think we have everything under control our mind sometimes tricks us unintentionally. 

Here are 5 common mistakes that we can do while thinking: 

  1. Our mind subconsciously looks for information that confirms what we already know. The brain prefers to keep us in our ‘comfort zone‘where we don’t question our beliefs. Instead of looking for differences, it makes us feel safer staying just the way we are.  
  2. Our mind naturally makes us feel our losses far more than we feel our gains. Worrying persistently about any kind of cost that we have paid for never lets us move forward.  Cost does not always have to mean money. It could also be our time and effort that we have lost and could never get back. 
  3. Our mind allows us to make incorrect predictions sometimes. Subconsciously allowing our emotions to take control, we can make wrong decisions just because we really wish for it to be this way.    
  4. After our decision has been made and we realize we have not made the right choice, our mind tricks us in believing that it was the right thing to do just to make us feel better.  
  5. Instead of making right decisions based on facts, our mind often misleads us to believe something is better just by comparing it to something else. It might not be the right choice but it is certainly the one that looks more attractive.  

All the above mistakes can be prevented when you train your mind to think critically. Being self aware of what you can do wrong before doing it, increases the chances of you avoiding it! 

Ways to Develop Good Critical Thinking 

6 ways we suggest to help individuals become good critical thinkers include: 

  1. Try to explain thoroughly and be clear when expressing an idea. Keep asking questions until they completely understand what is going on. By strengthening your knowledge level, you become good thinkers. 
  2. Be accurate in your thinking by researching facts to decide what is real and what is not. 
  3. Using logic and reason to reach an evaluation. This should allow you to fit things together and to make correct assumptions bringing you closer to a valid conclusion. 
  4. Link related information to the situation being experienced to be relevant while expressing your thoughts. 
  5. Be fair and always feel for others are bound to be good thinkers in the future. Being able to listen to alternative perspectives is one of the key elements of a successful thinker. Therefore, parents should work on raising empathetic kids. 
  6. Kids should be guided to be able to think for themselves. Depending on parents to do the thinking is limiting a kid’s judgmental and decision-making potentials.  

Raising a good thinker means that you are raising a quick learner, an excellent problem solver, a creative thinker and thus, a successful individual in the future!  



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