10 Essential Critical Thinking Skills (And How to Improve Them)

L’esprit critique est, comme son nom l’indique, critique. En développant cette compétence, vous améliorez votre capacité à analyser les informations et à prendre les meilleures décisions possibles. Dans cet article, nous présentons les bases de l’esprit critique, ainsi que les sept étapes à suivre pour mettre en place le processus complet de réflexion critique.

5 tips to improve your critical thinking – Samantha Agoos

How to think critically

Here are steps you might take when using critical thinking for problem-solving at work:

Being objective is a fundamental part of critical thinking. That means analyzing the problem without allowing personal bias, emotions or assumptions to influence how you think. A strong critical thinker will only analyze a problem based on the context and facts collected after conducting thorough and impartial research.

What is critical thinking?

Critical thinking is the act of analyzing facts to understand a problem or topic thoroughly. The critical thinking process typically includes steps such as collecting information and data, asking thoughtful questions and analyzing possible solutions. For example, if you’re working in human resources and need to resolve a conflict between two employees, you will use critical thinking to understand the nature of the conflict and what action should be taken to resolve the situation.

Top 5 critical thinking skills

Here are five common and impactful critical thinking skills you might consider highlighting on your resume or in an interview:

1. Observation

Observational skills are the starting point for critical thinking. People who are observant can quickly sense and identify a new problem. Those skilled in observation are also capable of understanding why something might be a problem. They may even be able to predict when a problem might occur before it happens based on their experiences.

2. Analysis

Once a problem has been identified, analytical skills become essential. The ability to analyze and effectively evaluate a situation involves knowing what facts, data or information about the problem are important. This also often includes gathering unbiased research, asking relevant questions about the data to ensure it’s accurate and assessing the findings objectively.

Improve your analytical skills by taking on new experiences. For example, you might read a book about a concept you’re unfamiliar with or take an online math class to push yourself to think in new ways and consider new ideas. Doing so can help you build the skills to interpret new information and make rational decisions based on sound analysis.

3. Inference

Inference is a skill that involves drawing conclusions about the information you collect and may require you to possess technical or industry-specific knowledge or experience. When you make an inference, that means you are developing answers based on limited information. For example, a car mechanic may need to infer what is causing a car’s engine to stall at seemingly random times based on the information available to them.

Improve your inference skills by placing focus on making educated guesses rather than quickly drawing conclusions. This requires slowing down to carefully look for and consider as many clues as possible—such as images, data or reports—that might help you evaluate a situation.

4. Communication

5. Problem-solving

Why critical thinking is important

Critical thinking skills are essential in every industry at every career level, from entry-level associates to top executives. Good critical thinkers can work both independently and with others to solve problems.

Issues such as process inefficiencies, management or finances can be improved by using critical thought. Because of this, employers value and seek out candidates who demonstrate strong critical thinking skills.

More critical thinking skills

While the five skills listed above are essential to successful critical thinking, there are several soft skills that relate to thoughtful analysis. Here are five more skills to consider when developing your critical thinking:

How to improve your critical thinking skills

While you might already have many of the skills above, it may still be helpful to consider other areas for improvement—especially for specific skills listed on a job description. You can always improve your critical thinking skills through practice and extended educational opportunities.

Asking a friend, colleague or manager to assess your current skill set can also help provide you with an objective view of your strengths. You may find it beneficial or even necessary to practice your critical thinking skills to help build your resume or advance in your career.

FAQ

What is an example of critical thinking skills?

Top 5 critical thinking skills
  • Observation. Observational skills are the starting point for critical thinking. …
  • Analysis. Once a problem has been identified, analytical skills become essential. …
  • Inference. …
  • Communication. …
  • Problem-solving.

What are the six skills of critical thinking?

Examples of Critical Thinking

A triage nurse analyzes the cases at hand and decides the order by which the patients should be treated. A plumber evaluates the materials that would best suit a particular job. An attorney reviews evidence and devises a strategy to win a case or to decide whether to settle out of court.

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