Keeping your critical thinking muscle in prime condition may take diligence and consistent effort, but it’s time well spent – reaping a high ROI for your career.
So what exactly defines critical thinking?
Critical thinking goes beyond learning new information. It’s how you learn it and what you do with it. Remember, just because someone wrote it or said it – even if they are considered the expert – doesn’t automatically earn it a “real, truthful, objective” stamp. Being a critical thinker means you dig deeper, asking questions as you go. In other words:
• Learn to question things – withholding your judgment until you have evaluated the validity of a theory, proposition, course of action, etc.
• Listen to differing points of view – consider multiple perspectives, the reasoning behind each one, and the probable implications or consequences that will result when a particular viewpoint is applied to a situation.
• Ask questions that inspire more than a yes or no answer – dig for the Who? What? When? Why? How? and What if?
• Allow enough time to comprehend the information – defined by reasonable evidence – and make an educated conclusion.
• Examine the current situation, of course, but also consider the “big picture.” How will each option or point of view align with what’s practical and effective?
How can you develop your critical thinking muscles?
• Spend “brain time” each day. Consider a problem. It can be something from your own work or simply an issue from a local organization, your community, the government, etc. is facing. Look at it from different angles. Determine what you would view as viable options. Try to discern which options you would choose and why.
• Consider your “go to” perspectives on life issues. Do you need to redefine some areas? Do you need to reshape your intellectual standards? Who and what are influencing your life philosophies? (Note – these influences may be persuading your decision making) Keep a journal of your thoughts.
• Lose your ego. The greatest critical thinkers are focused on discerning truth, discovering effective solutions, resolving situations efficiently, rather than always being right. If someone has a better answer, they embrace it and learn.
Building strong critical thinking muscles empowers your career. Springborn Staffing recognizes the value of critical thinking. It’s one of the traits we watch for in candidates. If you’re looking for a new position that utilizes your critical thinking skills, contact us today. We will connect you with a Bangor or Portland, Maine company that values your talent – a place where you can grow professionally.