What is Critical Thinking?
Critical thinking is an analysis, an objective analysis that involves scrutiny and evaluation of a particular situation, event or an issue in order to come to a certain consensus.
Let us understand in a broader sense. One should have the capacity to understand and analyze the complex nature of the job that he or she is involved in.
Therefore at certain junctures in our lives we often come across scenarios that will compel us to critically analyze the behavior of the situation.
Now some of us may find it hard to perform this critical thinking exercises, but remember that it is nothing but the act of thinking critically, clearly and rationally under the influence of common sense.
Here in this article let us learn and understand how to improve thinking skills in us. It is also very important to remember that it is that critical thinking ability in the person which grows along with the growth of the person.
It is a gradual process in which the person needs to gain lots of knowledge through plain hard work.
After all higher order thinking skills is nothing but an imagination or a vision that one gets in the mind, to see possibilities and solutions to make the existing situation a better one.
Let us now delve into the different ways of improvising and developing critical thinking skills based on different work or business scenarios: –
Ways to Improve Critical Thinking Skills:
1. Understand the business and its need:
In a given process or business cycle, it is important to understand the complete journey.
Once this phase is cleared you need to know how each and every function inter-depend on the other.
Having all these in mind now we need to enter into the zone of understanding the purpose and also how the process can be leveraged through critical thinking. Thinking from one angle of business policy may always not fetch you the right outcome.
Instead input the same dimension or goal with different methods of approach. This is proof enough for us to think differently and critically to implement certain new changes to bring about the improving change in the business flow.
2. Comparing business to business:
This is one such phase where every business wants to grow 2 steps ahead from its competitor.
Be it the marketing division, promoting division, functioning sector, process structure, etc, it is important to move ahead.
So it is natural that a Business development manager heeds to certain criteria’s to achieve this competency.
Well, while doing so if he/she realizes the potential customer of the business or the need and standards achieved by the company, it will pave path as to how to think different or new to:
a. Engage more number of customers
b. Improve process flow to make it efficient and productive
c. To increase production
d. To decrease time and cost of the units
e. To automate manual processes etc.
3. Analysis of every decision/thinking:
Thinking lays in the mind with no interpretation, results and effect on the situation. It is the initial stages of starting anything and everything in the world.
It is just a thought process. This thought process is further strengthened by intervening more and giving it a hope. This hope is slowly seeded with life; when we begin to apply every step of this thought process.
However, before applying here comes the opportunity to sit and analyze the probable outcome of this thought/idea. This is nothing but critical thinking.
This criticality will help us unveil certain ideas that may not have opened up in our minds. Hence critical and creative thinking is very important at every stage of work.
4. Method of application:
It is not easy to take risk or blindly unfold new ideas into a business. There needs to be a strategy, work flow, results that are close to estimated target, etc before we input any decision.
Hence any new thought or decision or idea or thinking should be tested and then applied to the work.
This eases the probability of risk factor in the business and save us from unforeseen or unnecessary expense or loss.
Here is an incident of how “critical thinking process at work” functions:
Situation at work:
You are a team of 10 reporters. And your capacity of generating reports per day is 100, considering each reporter works on 10 reports a day.
On a given day your most valued client requests you to generate 160 reports, apologizing to have informed you at such short notice. Now it is also the same day where 2 reporters from the team are off duty on planned basis.
Here comes to switch on your critical thinking button, to understand the situation and handle it to satisfy the client and also to prove your capacity at work.
Now, call upon for a quick 10 min meeting with the remaining team of 8 members. Chart your idea and share with the team.
You simply need to convince the team to take upon the extra 60 reports to be finished by stretching a couple of hours by giving them a cross function support from the neighboring team.
You leverage your thinking by planning to invite 2 additional members into the team from your neighboring team and complete the given task by stretching a couple of hours.
You may also invite and motivate your team members to do this task by offering them
b) Let off on any other working day for the no. of extra hours worked
c) Attractive outings or get-together
d) Movie tickets or dinner vouchers for 2 and many others.
From the above incident we now know how to implement ideas or thoughts in a crisis with small estimation, so that we gear up to make decisions for anything large or huge in the future.
5. Size does not matter:
Critical thinking or analysis does not depend on the size of the subject. We need to think wisely and logically to consider any decision; be it small or big, be it for a business flow or handling work.
6. Use certain set strategies:
Sometimes use of already proven strategies or ideologies may help to a great extent and thereafter you can pitch in your ideas and link it to make a meaningful solution for any situation.
7. Thinking deep:
This is one of the important characteristics of critical thinking. You need to think deep to achieve the closest solution in the best given time at low cost to the company.
In terms of general situation, we know there is no money involved but time is still ticking. By the term general, I mean the day to day work conditions or situations that may arise for one to handle critically.
Hence decisions here are to be quick but logical. Managing critical thinking situations is very vital.
To Wrap Up:
All the above mentioned criteria are to make our ideas deep and valuable through the process of critical thinking and decision making and applying these functions at work.
These can also be attributed to our day to day life and routine critical thinking activities. Give the best thought and work around it for the best result.