Human nature is to think as our brains are wired to do so. When we are presented with a problem or a situation we try and come up with the best solution possible based on the information which we have received. Can you pass the test to see if you can think critically like the best of them? People who possess the skills to think critically are sometimes seen as argumentative however, and that is not the case. Critical thinkers make their decisions based on the facts that they have received, are able to ask key questions and discuss problems that they may see when analyzing a situation and can communicate effectively with others in order to figure out the solutions to difficult or complex problems. They can think with an open mind not taking into account previous ideas or methods of thought allowing them to view and resolve each new issue without prejudice.
Critical thinkers actually have several advantages over those that have not yet learned or mastered this way of higher level of thinking. Fortunately, there are ways to train your brain to think critically, such as practicing the exercises in the Critical Thinking Academy. You will gain the knowledge needed to break down situations and arguments while carefully considering the positives and negatives of each scenario allowing you to make the best and most effective decisions. This superior method of thinking will allow you to act quickly in situations instead of having to react to catch up. Here are a few questions that can help you identify how you break down problems, can you identify the positive and potential downsides of a decision or situation before it has even played out? Do you possess the core set of skills that are needed to be an effective critical thinker? If you answered yes, then you may be on your way to being a great critical thinker. If you feel that this area of your life could use some improvement, don’t fret. Critical thinking is a skill that can be learned using simple tips and tricks to manage situations.
Four Steps to Develop Your Critical Thinking Skills
If you feel that your critical thinking skills could use some strengthening, check out our course on ‘Whole Brain Thinking’ and learn some new ways that you can train your brain. An important thing to remember is that changing the way that you think is not something that can be done overnight. Be prepared to take some time to focus on how you do it in order to develop and refine your method of critical thinking. Be forewarned that you may spend months and maybe even years developing how you think but the payoff will stay with you throughout the rest of your life.
Use Time Wisely – I, some days, find it difficult to complete all the tasks that I need to get done before the day is over without feeling overwhelmed or just completely exhausted. There just aren’t enough hours in a day to attend to my family, work, and household duties, let alone find the time to enjoy them! I need to work on using my time wisely and learning how to manage my time in a way that works for me and allows me to spend more time doing the things that I enjoy. This course on Time Management Training has really helped me to stop wasting time and being more productive throughout my day to day. I encourage you to check it out so that you can find ways to make the hours in the day work for you.
Take on Problems – Don’t take on all of your problems at once, take on a problem a day. Begin your day by picking out on problem in your life and break it down. Ask yourself “What is the problem exactly?”, “How will resolving this problem help me become a better person, achieve a goal, or meet a need?”, “Is this problem important?”. Once you have the answers to these questions you will be better prepared to tackle the problem. Take the information you have gathered and interpret it. Come up with a strategy to eliminate and minimize the problem by using creative problem solving skills. Performing this exercise daily will help you to feel better prepared to take on these issues and not as overwhelmed by them.
Who Are You? Have you asked yourself that question lately? Are you a sensitive person by nature? Maybe you’re going through a time in your life where you feel more sensitive or pessimistic towards issues than usual? When you begin to feel negative emotions, take a moment to ask yourself what about the moment or situation is making you feel this way? Identify ways in which you could take control of how you feel and turn the situation around. Changing how you look at a problem may help you to better tackle it.
Make Your Own Opinions – It’s sometimes hard for even the strongest person to not pay attention to outside influences. Dealing with a new problem should be handled in much the same way as meeting a new person. Regardless of what we may have heard about someone, we should always base our decisions solely on our own impressions. Effective Decision Making skills play a large part in critical thinking. Take on a problem by not listening to advice or the definition of the problem from outside sources. Since each problem can be viewed in multiple ways it’s best to identify the problem yourself and come up with solutions that make the most sense to you. What some may see as a problem, you may see as an opportunity.
To learn more about the Critical Thinking process check out our blog on ‘How To Think Critically’.