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4 Ways Critical Thinking Drives Professional Success

Regardless of the industry you work in and how much experience you have, your critical thinking skills can make or break your career plans. Your ability to process and analyze information effectively is the Achilles’ heel of your professional career.

Here are 4 ways you can sharpen your critical thinking skills to give your career the boost it needs:

1. Re-describe the problem

We take other people’s description of a problem at face value before trying to solve it. A better way is to get a clear picture of the problem, and the factors that are influencing it. Ask yourself:

  • Who is doing what?

  • What is the likely reason for this?

  • What is the end result?

  • How can this impact be changed?

The ability to restate a problem puts you in the same league as the top 1% of professionals.

2. Remove biases

When evaluating information or an argument, look for assumptions and biases. Imagine that you are a neutral mediator or a judge evaluating information objectively. Ask yourself:

  • Where are you getting the information from? Could they have an agenda?

  • Is there any information being ignored or left out that supports the opposite claims?

  • Is the language used in the information favoring one side of the argument?

3. Make an educated guess

We usually do not have enough information to make a fully informed decision. Most people delay their decisions until they have all the information they need, which never happens. The cost of not making a decision on time is much higher than making the wrong decision. Here is a better way:

Before reaching a conclusion, gather as much information as possible and then guess in light of that information. Your educated guess is much more likely to be the right choice.

4. Be curious

Curiosity is innate to us, but we suppress it in the formality of the workplace. That can be a mistake. Curiosity is necessary for asking the intelligent questions that set good professionals apart from the rest.

Train yourself to polish your curiosity. Ask open-ended questions about the issues that come up in the workplace and invest time to understand their answers.

Your ability to analyze, argue on & evaluate complex topics is necessary for your professional success. Unlock your potential by practicing your Critical Thinking skills in these 4 ways.

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