How Can You Improve Your Critical Thinking Skills

In a study conducted by Global Strategy Group found that today's young professionals are lacking in the skills most prioritized by business leaders and it's not the skills you may be thinking - like technical or specialized skills - as critical thinking skills topped the list. If you want to stand out at work or in a job interview, you may need to improve your critical thinking skills.A recent TED-Ed lesson [ A manager applies critical thinking when he/she looks at all sides of a situation and weighs several possible solutions before responding.

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So, what makes someone a critical thinker, exactly?

It’s the ability to look at issues objectively and effectively, without letting bias or emotions cloud your judgement.

Achieving a goal or resolving an argument requires analysing all that information. Another important step in improving your critical thinking skills is to accept that you don’t know everything. Can you verify the same information from multiple sites or authorities?

Many articles have been written about common misconceptions about a whole range of subjects, so you should always take the time to verify any ‘facts’ you base your decisions or arguments on. Critical thinkers also consider an author’s agenda, anything from a political affiliation to a product to sell.

Those same emotions can also affect your interpretation of others’ actions.

Taking arguments personally and feeling attacked by someone else’s opinion can cloud your judgement.Doing well in your job isn't just about what you know; it's also about how you think.Being able to research and analyze information and develop innovative solutions to problems are both necessary skills for professional success - no matter the field.The first step in developing your critical thinking skills is to set aside time to evaluate your daily choices and decisions.In the same way a coach looks at a recording of a game to identify his team’s strengths and weaknesses, use this exercise to identify your successful actions that day, as well as the scenarios that didn’t turn out as well as you hoped. Did you do something contrary to your own belief system?Ask yourself a series of questions about those actions. Take the extra time to really think about your answers.You might want to keep a journal of these self-evaluations to help you spot patterns in your thinking and decision making.Norwich University's online Bachelor of Interdisciplinary Studies program focuses on developing these essential skills and how to take principles learned in the classroom and apply in the workforce.Many a TV and movie hero would have you believe that all the best decisions are made with a ‘gut feeling’.It’s not an easy task, but critical thinking improves your communication with others, helps you solve problems in the best interests of everyone involved, and allows you to see a clearer path to success and advancement in your career.The good news is you can begin right away, so read on to learn how to develop your critical thinking skills.

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