The Art of ‘Critical Thinking’

Anthonia Nnabuko Written by Anthonia Nnabuko · 2 min read >

Handling problems

Business problems are inevitable regardless of the continuous planning or managerial skills. I will refer to these problems as package that comes with the business. A test for the organization/company/enterprise which if successfully passed in the long run will bring profit and more acceptability. The point is, no organization or business is too big to have problems or challenges as some would prefer to call it. Challenges are part of life and inevitable. When rightly handled, it makes us a better person with very good experience at problem solving. It also increases our skills as a critical thinker.

A required skill

The art of critical thinking is a skill required by managers and decision makers in all organization for effectiveness. Critical thinking is defined as the disciplined art of ensuring that you can see things beyond the peripheral. It means you can answer deep questions and analyze alternatives, evaluating those alternatives with consideration. To maximize the quality of your thinking, you must first learn to become an effective critic of it. Critical thinking is a process, it takes time but can be learnt, learning about thinking should be made priority. Start by criticizing your own thinking. I strongly believe that we all need this skill for good judgment. We also need to be conscious of it’s usage to get desired result.

Asking the right questions

Critical thinking requires the following questions to be answered when considering thinking critically : How does your mind process information? How do you analyze, evaluate, or reconstruct your thinking? Where does your thinking come from? Are you in control of your thinking or do you allow other people think for you? When others do the thinking process for you, it also means they make decision for you. This negates the aim of critical thinking in becoming a skill. Everything you do should be influenced by your ‘deep thinking’. Decisions are to be made after thorough thoughts with evidence and not emotions. I advise you separate your person from your business, it will help your thinking be clear and emotions will not cloud your judgment. I am not saying emotions are not good but when it has negative effect on your judgment, you need to slow down.

Putting effort

You are allowed to be emotional as human but it should not cloud your judgement. In becoming a deep or critical thinker, I advise you put effort into what you’re thinking about deeply without sentiments. Intellectual work also helps us become qualitative thinkers. As they say, progress is a product of sound theory, commitment, hard-work, and practice. This means that to be a progressive deep thinker, you must practice, put in work and be committed. It is almost impossible to be a critical thinker when there is no effort. Beyond critical thinking, everything we do as human requires effort and critical thinking is not an exception. The things we do not give attention usually flop and the results are mostly unacceptable which is why effort is key. Thinking right and appropriately also helps to make concise decisions.

Clarify your thinking

When people explain things to you, summarize using your own words, this helps clarify your thinking. Also, ask questions to negate assumptions. You are not in people’s head and should not assume what they mean, so ask questions. Making assumption where you could have made clarifications can lead to bad judgement. Clarifying your thinking means giving it meaning to avoid it being misconstrued, misleading or vague. It means you should look beyond the surface. Doing this will help you not pick a side until your understanding is clear. Rather than trying to solve all problems at once, state the points one at a time and elaborate on each point by giving examples. These examples must relate to the problem you’re trying to solve. Meaning, it should not be out of context. If for any reason you are not clear on the information you have about the problem, ask questions.

Consider all alternatives

Asking the right questions helps us to decide right. I get clarity from the quality of questions asked. Managers should not be quick to make conclusions when all alternatives are yet to be considered. When there is an issue and you are meant to proffer solution, the first thing to do is try to get evidence. Get lots of information relating to the matter that can help your thinking process break it down. Keep asking questions until you are certain that you have all that is needed and critical thinking can hence happen as a result. Assumption kills your thinking process, I advice you stay within the context as every case is peculiar. No two case are same, handle all with it’s uniqueness.

Written by Anthonia Nnabuko
Jesus' Princess (takes God personal), addicted foodie, loves to make people happy, adventurous, HR Professional, lover of pictures Profile

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