In today’s entry, we continue with the topic of employee skills with one that is often miscategorized as a soft skill: critical thinking. To set-up the stage, critical thinking can be defined as the ability to solve problems effectively by systematically gathering information about an issue, generating further ideas involving a variety of perspectives, evaluating the information using logic, and making sure everyone involved in on board (Jen Lawrence).
There is a generalized trend in the working environment revolving around the constant quest for passion. Surely, finding work meaning contributes to productivity, yet emotional responses without critical thinking are far from professional and might bring about costly and avoidable mistakes. Its relevance originates not from achieving the best answer to a problem, but the one with maximum consensus from all parties involved, which is in turn a considerable success.
Clearly, this is not as simple as stepping back and using a rational thinking instead of reacting instinctively to conflicts or problems, which is easier said than done. Critical thinking forms arguments from evidence and honestly identifies problems and assumptions that have an effect on the way we evaluate an issue. In the blog post that inspired this entry, the author Rebecka Green provides three tips to foster critical thinking within our projects and programs:
- Give employees extra time on projects. Tight deadlines end-up being counterproductive.
- Positive and proactively communicate with your teams and secure proper understanding of the directives.
- This is a hard skill: allocate time for training, coaching and practice
Finally, thinking and conveying your positions more clearly will turn into a better engagement on discussions and meaningful contributions in your job. When a person is confident and thorough in the decision-making process, the end result feels more fulfilling inwards and outwards.