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How to unlock the power of critical thinking

by Ana Lopez
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Opinions of contributing entrepreneurs are their own.

Great entrepreneurs are able to question widely held beliefs, make connections between seemingly disparate ideas, and essentially see what no one else can see.

This is called critical thinking, and you don’t have to be born with it – it’s a skill that can be learned. There are many experts available for one-on-one mentoring sessions that can help you look at things differently, whether that’s coming up with new ideas or solving old problems. Alice Webbfounder of Drybar, and Jason Feifereditor-in-chief of businessroundups.org magazine, are two experts in the field who are now available for one-on-one video calls over the Introduction expert platform.

Related: Search our database of business experts available for one-on-one video calls to help you find success

Why critical thinking is important

Critical thinking enables individuals to objectively analyze information, identify and evaluate arguments, and make informed decisions.

Troubleshooting: Critical thinking helps you approach problems in a structured and systematic way. This is when you put on your consultant hat with a systematic process: define the problem -> collect info -> analyze the info -> identify possible solutions -> implement -> evaluate -> make adjustments. By evaluating different options and weighing their strengths and weaknesses, you can arrive at an effective solution.

Decision: Effective decision-making requires the ability to evaluate information, weigh pros and cons, and reach an informed conclusion. Critical thinking skills are essential for making informed choices in both personal and professional settings.

Effective communication: This starts with active listening. By analyzing information and arguments, you can articulate your thoughts and ideas more clearly and convincingly.

Tips for improving your critical thinking skills

Practice asking questions: The 5 Whys is a problem-solving method used to get to the root of a problem by asking “why” questions. The idea is to keep asking “why” until the cause is found. Here’s how to apply the 5 whys:

  1. Clearly define the problem: Identify what is happening and what needs to be solved.
  2. Ask “Why” Questions: Ask “Why” the problem occurs and record the answer. Repeat this step five times.
  3. Analyze the answers: Evaluate the answers and see if they provide insight into the cause of the problem.
  4. Identify the cause: Use the answers to identify the cause of the problem.
  5. Develop a solution: Use the understanding of the root cause to develop a solution to the problem.

Look for new information and different perspectives: Stay informed and get to know different opinions, perspectives and sources of information. This will help you broaden your understanding of the world and refine your critical thinking skills.

Analyze arguments: When evaluating arguments, watch for logical fallacies, reasoning errors, and biases. This will help you identify the strengths and weaknesses of an argument and reach an informed conclusion.

Reflect on your own thinking: Take time to reflect on your own thoughts and beliefs. Consider how your experiences and background may influence your perspective.

The ability to think critically is rare. And vital. By developing this skill, you can raise your ceiling. You can become a better problem solver, a more effective communicator, and a more valuable employee. The world is constantly changing and evolving, and embracing critical thinking helps us adapt and thrive in the face of new challenges.

Let’s make critical thinking a cornerstone of the modern workplace.

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