- Critical Thinking Tutorial
- Critical Thinking - Home
- Critical Thinking - Introduction
- Critical Thinking - Applications
- Going Beyond Comfort Zones
- Qualities of Critical Thinkers
- Critical Thinking - Worksheet
- Improving Communication
- Critical Thinking - Problem-Solving
- Changing Perspectives
- Critical Thinking - Quiz
- Critical Thinking - Aspects
- Critical Thinking - Enhance
- Critical Thinking Resources
- Critical Thinking - Quick Guide
- Critical Thinking - Useful Resources
- Critical Thinking - Discussion
- Selected Reading
- UPSC IAS Exams Notes
- Developer's Best Practices
- Questions and Answers
- Effective Resume Writing
- HR Interview Questions
- Computer Glossary
- Who is Who
Critical Thinking - Enhance
Critical thinkers require many characteristics to be effective. These characteristics include qualities such as curiosity, humility, objectivity, self-awareness, and active listening. In the professional world, an employee is expected to have a set of skills that make him a productive asset for the organization that he works in.
Let’s list of few of these skills and see what are the qualities associated with these skills.
This is the ability to understand and use the financial systems. It involves correctly completing transactions in a given amount of time. Having good technical skills also means that you can decipher error messages in a system, understand the discrepancies and resolve them in a timely manner.
This is the ability of dissecting the problems, realizing its components and organize a way to solve them in a systematic way; the process of looking for underlying causes or thinking through the consequence of difference courses of action. For example, a banker’s analytical skills would be −
- Make a step-by-step break-down of constituent financial issues.
- Identify cause after checking the incorrect transactions.
- Analyze issues to arrive at appropriate solution by looking at financial options.
The ability to identify a problem, go through the available relevant information to find out discrepancies, and integrate the results of these findings into the final resolution.
Arriving at a solution after addressing issues related to doubts, apparent uncertainties, and the difficulties of running the processes of research. This includes defining the issues, making accurate information requirements for addressing the problems, identifying possible sources for collecting data, and then finding the best alternative after reviewing the available options.
It is the process of transferring thoughts, opinions, or knowledge, orally or in written form, to individuals or groups. To communicate properly, people are advised to listen actively when others are speaking to them.
People also try and paraphrase (using different words to explain what they have understood from what they have heard) frequently to state their accordance. This includes mirroring, i.e. reflecting the speaker’s exact mannerisms in speech and then clarifying.
In addition to this, using body language that encourages the speaker to continue speaking or expand upon a thought, while listening silently makes a speaker feel as if his words are sinking in and are becoming a part of your thoughts.
When asking a question, it’s always important to form clearly thought-out inquiries that highlight your understanding and knowledge levels. A question should be to-the-point and not a meandering one.
Time management is the set of practices that increase efficiency and productivity, and ensure accomplishment of tasks. This includes organizing and maintaining information, setting priorities among tasks, keeping track of the status of work completed, and getting work completed within a realistic time-frame.
An employee with integrity undertakes tasks assigned to him with unquestionable morals, uncompromising ethics and honesty. A person of integrity will set high standards himself and expect the same of others, both in professional and personal life.
A few qualities of a person of integrity are −
- Keeping commitments
- Honoring promises
- Taking care of needs
- Willing to accept responsibility
- Willing to listen to authority
Attention to Detail
To cultivate Critical Thinking, a person needs to have a thoroughness in his thoughts. He needs to have the same dedicated approach to a problem, irrespective of that problem being a big one or small. Thoroughness includes double-checking sources and their accuracy of information on a periodic basis, monitoring the quality of own work and that of the people assigned to you, adhering to all processes and quality measures and insisting that the work of others also pass the quality measures.
Providing good service is one of the strong commitments that service providers give to customers when they are marketing their products. This service includes providing both internal and external customers timely, quality, and courteous financial service.
It also includes identifying customers’ needs by studying the changing customer buying trends and patterns, handling customers’ queries and providing them speedy resolutions.
Negotiation is the art of persuading others to accept certain agreements, while also listening to their proposals and finding a middle path between both the disagreeing parties. This includes listening to others’ ideas for gaining a balance between different perspectives, develop additional ideas, and verify the solution.
Tesco, the world’s third-largest retailer came up with an idea to fill the West Coast of the U.S. with a chain of small grocery stores focusing on fresh foods. Before implementing this plan of opening its first Fresh & Easy stores, Tesco conducted extensive market research. In fact, many Tesco employees started living in the homes of American customers to observe their eating and shopping habits.
However, months into the setting up of these chains, the Fresh & Easy concept turned into a disaster. The concept failed to catch up with the public and any expansion plans for the chain were scaled back.
Tim Mason, the head of Tesco’s U.S. business, stated that the company failed to realize that Americans weren’t happy with the Fresh & Easy’ store’s “everyday-low-prices” strategy, as it lacked a comparative for them based on which they can analyze the “low prices”. They were much happier with coupons and other special offers.
Critical thinking is a lifelong process of being curious, inquisitive, and interested in learning. To gain the ability of critical thinking, you need to continue asking questions, as well as learning from observing your and others’ mistakes. Critical thinking helps us draw practical conclusions by asking us to step out of our comfort zone. This helps us in being adaptive, persuasive, and communicative.