HOW CRITICAL THINKING HELPS IN YOUR CAREER

Critical thinking, today, is an essential quality in every profession. This idea has been around for a while, though it became popular only in the recent years. It dates back to 2,500 years ago, when a philosopher came up with a method of questioning. It was based on finding evidence, reasoning and reaching logical conclusions. Today, this philosophy is called “critical thinking”. The Language Gallery (TLG) understands its importance in today’s era, hence, it is an essential part of TLG’s curriculum.

 

WHAT IS CRITICAL THINKING?

Critical thinking refers to a mode of thinking that involves analysing a problem, assessing it and then reconstructing it to produce a logical solution. The demand for these thinking skills has increased today because of the rapid advances in technology; it is important that the human mind matches the speed of technological development. Due to the increased demand, this is not an optional skill anymore but a must-have trait.

 

WHY CRITICAL THINKING MATTERS?

The following list will help you understand why this skill matters and what can be the possible benefits of critical thinking for your career. Take a look:

  • ESSENTIAL IN EVERY PROFESSION: Regardless of the profession you are in, thinking clearly and rationally always helps improve your skills. If you own the skill of critical thinking, you will be able to solve problems quickly and efficiently. This is an asset in any profession.

  • MAKES YOU ADAPTIVE: When you are quick on your feet while solving problems, you can adapt to any situation. Critical thinking activities will help you come up with a solution for the most challenging problems quickly.

  • MAKES YOU EXPRESSIVE: If you have stage fear or have problems expressing yourself, you should work on these skills. It will help you think clearly and systematically. Also, it improves your ability to read and process information.

  • MAKES YOU CREATIVE: These skills help you come up with multiple creative ideas to solve a solution. It also helps you to choose the best idea that solves the task in question.

  • SAVES TIME: You will know which options are relevant to your problem and will be instrumental in decision-making. These skills help you manage your time and resources well. This, in turn, makes it easy for you to study the problem and come up with a quick and appropriate solution.

  • CHANGES YOUR APPROACH: If you are familiar with critical thinking skills, you will be able to approach a problem without hesitating. It makes you confident and helps you think clearly, even in tough situations.

  • HELPS YOUR PERSONAL GROWTH: These skills enhance your personal growth. It gives you a balanced perspective on situations and makes you more employable. This skill is highly sought after by employers.

 

HOW TO THINK CRITICALLY

To help you get started with this process, we have put together a list of strategies. Take a look:

  • USE YOUR FREE TIME: You can start by using your free time to practice your critical thinking skills. Analyse the events that happened during the day. If you faced any challenges, rethink your course of action to overcome it. Ask yourself questions. Could you have solved a problem in a different way? Was there more than one ‘best solution’ to a problem? While you are thinking about your day, write down your thoughts on a notepad. This will help you to get a clearer picture.

  • ONE PROBLEM, ONE DAY: When you are heading to work in the morning, present yourself with a problem. During the course of the day, analyse the problem in your free time and try to come up with a solution that suits your problem the best. Try to find out the shortest and most efficient path to a solution. This will help you exercise your analytical skills.

  • KEEP A JOURNAL: As mentioned earlier, writing your thoughts helps you think clearly. Follow a format and categorize your thought process into – Situation, Reaction, Analysis, and Assessment. This will help you get a clear picture of what happened and what you could have done.

  • BEHAVIOURAL TRAITS: You must understand how peer behaviour affects your thinking process. It is essential that you do not bow down to beliefs and opinions put forward by others in your group. This will help you become confident and express the opinions you have about the task at hand.

 

WHAT ARE THE CRITICAL THINKING SKILLS?

These skills help you solve problems at work and in your personal life. It refers to independent and “problem-solving” thinking techniques. You are required to rigorously question ideas and come up with a better solution. Some of these crucial skills are:

 

  • ANALYSING: Analysing a situation or problem refers to breaking down a problem into simpler parts. This helps you in finding the root of a problem and, eventually, solving it.

  • STANDARDISATION: After you have analysed a problem, it is essential to pan out a solution that meets the professional or social criteria of problem solving. Tone down the solution to something that is acceptable.

  • DIFFERENTIATING: You should be able to recognize the differences between an ideal and an efficient situation. A perfect solution might not be effective. Hence, it is important to come up with a solution that solves the problem best.

  • FINDING INFORMATION: Before you start looking for a solution, you need to find all the information relevant to the problem. This will help you to move forward in the search for an appropriate solution.

  • LOGICAL REASONING: This type of thinking largely involves drawing out logical conclusions based on the evidence or information you have gathered. All factors must be taken into consideration to find the answer to a problem.

  • PREDICTING: Prediction is an important aspect of the critical thinking process. You must be able to visualize a plan and predict its consequences. This will help you to be prepared for damage control, in case the plan does not work out.

 

HOW TO IMPROVE CRITICAL THINKING SKILLS

This type of thinking is not an easy skill to pick up. It requires practice and adaptability. However, once you are set onto the path to achieve this skill, things will become easier. In order to improve these skills, you must follow the following steps.

  • Step 1 – EVALUATE: Before jumping to a conclusion or solution, the problem must first be evaluated. Whether it is written information or information you hear, study the problem. Ask yourself questions like – What is the problem? What are the possible solutions? What are the advantages and disadvantages of each of the solutions? This will help you bring reasoning into your decision-making skills.

  • Step 2 – RESEARCH: After you have evaluated the problem, it is time to do some research. Research is essential in any decision-making activity because the more the information you have, the easier it will be to create solutions. Having a clear idea about the problem at hand makes it easier for you to come up with a witty and quick solution.

  • Step 3 –QUESTION: The most consistent thing about this type of thinking is continuous questioning. At every step, you need to keep asking yourself questions in order to make the best out of the situation. Asking yourself questions constantly will also keep you connected to the topic throughout.

  • Step 4 –NO ASSUMPTIONS: Don’t assume that the first solution you come across is the perfect one. Take others’ perspective, analyse the problem further, and choose the appropriate solution to the problem.

When technological advancement started taking over the world, humans had no hope of competing with it. Then, critical thinking came into the picture and proved that humans can match the development science and technology have shown. Today, many colleges and employers consider this an important asset.

The English Elective courses offered by The Language Gallery emphasise on these thinking skills, which helps in the development of students.