Thinking critically is extremely important, not only in everyday life, but also in business. Over the course of your career, you’re going to stumble upon many situations that require developing critical thinking skills. In order to be able to apply them, you have to first know what some of the most important critical thinking skills someone should strive to develop are. Then, you have to learn what they’re all about and how you can apply them to different situations. This is precisely what we’re going to be talking about in today’s article. Let’s look at 4 critical thinking skills and their role!
4 Critical Thinking Skills You Should Develop
Analysis is perhaps one of the most important critical thinking skills people should consider developing. You should never accept any situation as such without asking yourself some questions or without analyzing it. Analysis is all about connecting the dots and looking for the meaning of something that might not be as easy to decipher as you thought. When people make convoluted statements, you have to be able to understand the meaning behind them. Imagine, if you may, trying to understand what a proverb such as “The pen is mightier than the sword” means. This is one way to train your analytical skills.
Interpretation is analysis’ cousin, but it takes matters a bit further. It’s more about decoding information and being capable of sharing the meaning you discovered with other people. To give you a clear example of interpretation, let’s imagine you’re the owner of a business and you want to find a customer group to target in your next ad campaign. For this, you’ve selected a list containing demographic information. The information doesn’t have a meaning yet, and it’s up to you to provide it with one. Using the skills of interpretation, you have to decode whatever information you have and find the group that would most benefit your business.
Yet another extremely relevant critical thinking skill, evaluation is the ability to decide whether someone’s statement or how they choose to describe a situation is valid or not. Using another example from the business world, consider focus groups. There, people provide you with their view on your products. Your job is to find negative views and come up with ways to solve those problems. How are you going to do that? By evaluating the opinions you get and seeing whether or not they’re valid, and if you should look into them further.
Finally, you also need to be able to explain things to people, instead of simply restating something you’ve learned. Ideally, every one of those you share the information with should understand exactly what you mean. Which means you need to be clear and have the ability to explain the same thing in different ways according to the audience. For instance, you’re not going to talk the same to a CEO as to some product engineers when it comes to a new idea for a product.
In the business world, you shouldn’t take anything for granted. This brief list of critical thinking skills teaches you just that.
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