Critical thinking is a key skill for the future. We tend to think about it as something from university used to argue different sides of an issue through thoughtful and thorough evaluation. It’s also much more than that and leads to complex problem-solving, fluency of ideas, active learning and collaboration – according to Pearsons’s 2030 research – a top skill for future jobs and a great one to cultivate now! in a world where we’re information overloaded it’s key. Here’s 5 easy ways to build critical thinking into your day-to-day:
- Observe your responses to social media – Deliberately and with intention look at a video or headline and then examine further to find out what is underneath it. We tend to take things at face value. When you use social media how do you put into play your critical thinking skills?
- Question your assumptions – we make them in seconds. Critical thinkers are curious and look to find the what and the why behind everything. Become more forensic when presented with a situation and try to work out where assumptions are being made. We probably make them so automatically in so many situations without thinking. Well, now is the time to change that and to ask why.
- Adopt a different perspective – Get into other peoples’ heads as much as you can! This is where empathy comes in. Involve others in decision making too. If you are fortunate enough to be working in a culturally diverse environment, find out how others might view a problem. You will uncover valuable insights.
- Take time to reflect – it will always seem like there is not enough time for this – make thinking and reflection a priority in any decision-making process. You can build in reflection time to your day – even five-minute pockets here and there can make a difference because a little more time allows for this careful thought process and better decision making to occur and become more of a default setting.
- Be honest and open – communicate clearly, don’t fabricate and don’t fake knowledge. Prepare properly for meetings and presentations so you don’t have to ‘fill in the gaps’ based on your poor preparation. Slow down a little and don’t take on so much. Take the time to do things properly and well.