Personal Development
6 important critical thinking skills you should master - Shiken

6 important critical thinking skills you should master - Shiken

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Enhance Your Performance and Live with Clarity and Purpose via Critical Thinking Skills

Regardless of whether you're eager to make strides in your work performance or simply striving to live a more satisfying life, you'll need a mixture of soft and hard skills to bring about meaningful progress. While some of these abilities come naturally to certain individuals, others must cultivate them actively. One such aptitude is critical thinking.

But critical thinking is comprised of many different types of skills which assist when it comes to solving issues more competently. Let's delve into the various kinds of critical thinking aptitudes and explore ways to commence strengthening them to enhance your career.

What is Critical Thinking?

Critical thinking is the capability to evaluate facts and form a conclusion. It is a form of emotional intelligence. Someone with critical thinking skills can think clearly and rationally when the scenario necessitates it. It allows them to perform problem-solving and decision-making more efficiently. Consequently, you can look beyond what is initially visible. You're able to analyze what you see from a situation and procure knowledge that surpasses what is visible to an outsider.

Critical thinking also necessitates being able to comprehend the logical connection between two or more ideas or concepts. For example, a team working on a company's pricing strategy needs to be discerning. Both the marketing and sales teams need to collaborate. They must analyze how to maximize sales, but they also need to do this whilst conforming to profit targets. It's important to appreciate the logical correlation between the sales strategy and the marketing logistics. It's the best means of guaranteeing a successful result.

Critical thinking is different from creative thinking. Creative thinking is the capacity to produce completely new, innovative ideas. Conversely, critical thinking entails carefully and logically analyzing the given information. Both are significant for achieving the best results in any given situation.

Characteristics of Critical Thinking

What is the definition of critical thinking? How does it impact the decision-making process? Here are five qualities which make up the capability to think critically.

  • Dispositions - Critical thinkers possess distinguishing traits that allow them to think the way they do. Some people are naturally inclined to these traits, while others must work to acquire them. Examples of such dispositions include open-mindedness, appreciating reasons and evidence, considering different views and perspectives, being flexible, skepticism, and precision and clarity.
  • Argument - Excellent critical thinkers need to make sound arguments. An argument is producing a statement which is supported by facts. It's essential to craft successful arguments when engaging in a constructive debate when conducting critical analysis.
  • Reasoning - Along with arguments, critical thinking also involves drawing inferences. From the facts and propositions given to you, you'll have to use logical reasoning to come to a sensible conclusion. This conclusion will determine the optimal course of action.
  • Criteria - Critical thinking is sometimes a matter of differentiating the facts from the fiction. Not all facts presented to you are of the same truthfulness. Certain conditions must be met for something to be deemed reliable, and a critical thinker must be able to comprehend that.
  • Metacognition - Metacognition is the aptitude to reflect on your own thinking.Critical thinkers should be capable of assessing their thoughts so they can establish if they have thought everything through.

We are committed to helping everyone to live with clarity, purpose, and enthusiasm. Join us and bring about meaningful transformation. Developing critical thinking abilities is a demanding task, but it can be accomplished through practice and determination. To strengthen your critical thinking skills, you should outline specific goals. Fully comprehend the objectives of a given scenario, and create a plan to accomplish those objectives. The more deliberate practice you do, the better you will become.

What are Critical Thinking Skills and Why are they Important?

Critical thinking skills are a valuable and sought-after asset in the professional world. Research from America Succeeds shows that these soft skills are sought after 2.6x more often than hard skills. Critical thinking helps you work independently, come up with innovative solutions, analyze different points of view, learn more effectively and recognize subconscious bias.

Breaking Down Complex Problems

When attempting to solve a problem, it's important to break the issue down into smaller parts. This way, each step of the process is addressed and handled in order, allowing you to progress gradually and efficiently towards a resolution. Another key element of critical thinking is being aware of your own biases and working to limit them. This will help ensure that decisions are sound and logical, rather than being informed by snap judgement.

Asking Questions

Asking questions is an important part of critical thinking. By delving deeper into a subject or situation, you can gain a clearer understanding, ensure that what you're learning is accurate, and challenge yourself to learn more. The more you practice critical thinking, the better you will become at applying the skill.

Seeking Guidance

Seeking out an experienced mentor can be of great help when it comes to honing and developing your critical thinking skills. A mentor can provide feedback, help you comprehend complex ideas, and push you to think more critically. An effective way to practice these skills is to take a beginner's mindset: to be open to new information and judge relevancy.

Real-Life Application

Let's take a look at an example scenario. Suppose you work in software quality assurance (QA) as a team lead. Every time there is regression work, the whole team gets bottlenecked because only you are able to enter the data into the regression spreadsheet. This can easily waste up to thirty minutes for each team member.

The first step in this process is to identify the issue. In this case, the team is being held up because you are the only one with access to the necessary information. Research methods such as speaking to higher-ups and other teams about potential solutions can help you gain a better understanding of the problem. Analyzing the data and judging its relevance is also essential � not all solutions will be applicable to your specific scenario.


Critical thinking skills are a valuable tool in both the professional and personal spheres. By recognizing relevant information, one can hypothesize better solutions to the issues they face. These skills are essential in the workplace, and having them will give you an advantage in many scenarios.

Initiating Solutions: How to Present Your Own Ideas

When you put forth a solution to your manager, be sure to explain the process you used to come to that conclusion. If your spreadsheet automation plan is accepted, then it is important to check back afterwards to analyze the results, but only after a sufficient amount of time has passed to gain sufficient data.

Developing Critical Thinking Abilities

Sharpening your critical thinking skills can be quite a challenge; however, having someone to guide you through the process can be hugely beneficial. If you are looking to become more adept in this department, consider a personalized demo of Shiken and see how coaching can be valuable.

In the interim, there are several general tips that you can use to get started. We suggest that you:

  • Play games that necessitate critical thinking skills.
  • Question your assumptions, even basic ones.
  • Grow your technical skills so you can identify issues quickly and accurately.
  • Look for methods to solve problems in the workplace and the home.
  • Be mindful of psychological methods, like the availability heuristic.
  • Come to your own conclusions instead of embracing other's beliefs.
  • Venture out and find diverse perspectives.
  • Begin forming foresight.
  • Exercise active listening.
  • Weigh the advantages and disadvantages of each action before taking one.
  • Find a mentor or coach to help you master your skills.

Conquering Anchoring Bias

Your propensity to depend too heavily on a restricted set of preliminary information is known as anchoring bias. Fortunately, there are strategies to counter this behavior. Here are four tips to help you make better decisions:

  • Choose rational persuasion instead of coercion to sway your team's decisions.
  • Gain familiarity with the application of five different decision-making models.
  • Realize what adaptability skills are and learn how to cultivate them.
  • Maintain composure in difficult circumstances.

Enhancing your critical thinking skills can be beneficial to many aspects of your professional and personal life. It will allow you to reach more accurate conclusions, make smarter decisions, and become a better problem-solver, all of which will ultimately help attain better results. Try to use the tips outlined here today and you should see an advancement in your critical thinking skills in no time.

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