Thinking is common: everybody thinks. Thinking is not reserved for the best in our society nor is it for the worst. Thinking is a gift endowed on everyone by nature. Humans think for several reasons: to clarify the stimuli sent to our brain by our sense organs, to fantasy about the future, to relish our past or present successes, to ponder on our past failures, to sort out information necessary to make decisions etc.
In the business world, considerable thinking goes into decision making. The quality of the decisions we make depends on the quality of our thinking. To be able to make good decisions, we must know and cultivate the habit of critical thinking.
Critical thinking can be simply defined as the ability to question assumptions, analyse information, and consider different perspectives before arriving at a conclusion. In this article, we explore how to cultivate the art of critical thinking and some of the benefits of critical thinking.
Cultivating Critical Thinking
Some of the steps one can take to cultivate the art of critical thinking are as stated below.
- Do not accept information at their face value: To become a critical thinker, you must not accept information at their face value. You must be ready to ask questions to clarify the intended meaning of information, to clarify your understanding of the information, to ascertain the source of the information and its credibility, to ascertain the veracity of the information, etc.
- Be open to the viewpoint of others: Often we get so emotionally entangled with our viewpoint that we close our mind to the viewpoints of others. Good decisions cannot be made that way. A critical thinker is reasonable, objective and realises that he might be wrong. Therefore, he listens to the viewpoints of others and submits to superior arguments.
- Constantly clarify your thoughts and stick to the point: Often, our thought drifts from the problem to the symptoms and/or other similar problems. A critical thinker must be sensitive to his thoughts and ensure that it is still on point. This can be achieved by properly defining the problem to be solved and constantly reminding ourselves in our thought process the problem statement. A critical thinker must be able to clearly state the details/components of the problem and how, if it does, defers from other problems. Available information must be properly analysed, and the salient and relevant ones must be separated from the extraneous and immaterial ones.
Benefits of Critical Thinking
The ability to think critically guarantees better decision in all spheres of life, be it personal or professional. Critical thinking helps one to solve problems effectively and efficiently.
In a world inundated with information, critical thinking is the lifeboat that helps us stay afloat. It’s the key to unlocking the doors of understanding and making informed decisions. As we navigate the complexities of the modern era, the ability to think critically is a skill that transcends professions and enriches every aspect of our lives. So, let’s not merely think hard – let’s think critically and unlock the power of our minds.