By critical thinking ability, we mean our capability to analyze and understand situations, separate facts from opinions, and arrive at the most correct and logical conclusions.
It’s an important skill not only for competent employees, but also for future leaders.
CRITICAL THINKING IN TODAY'S WORKPLACE
Today's working environments have become more and more complex. Our businesses are now able to engage with customers on social media, do business on instant messaging apps, and learn about what’s trending locally and globally with a solitary swipe.
We also have access to oceans of data like never before, as well as expert opinions from all over the world, and real time updates on potentially make-or-break events, all at our fingertips.
This means we now have the power to make better and more meaningful business decisions... but only if we can process and utilize the data properly.
Which is exactly what critical thinking is all about. As a meta-cognitive skill, critical thinking gives us the ability to use knowledge, facts, and data to effectively solve workplace problems, potentially spelling the difference between chaos and a job well done.
WHAT CRITICAL THINKING BRINGS TO THE TABLE
In a survey conducted among 400 human resource professionals, critical thinking is considered the most important skill for workers in the 21st century (Chartrand, Ishikawa, & Flander, 2013).
Bolstering that belief are several studies that have indicated that critical thinking improves our job performance, enabling us to evaluate facts without emotional bias, leading to a reduced bias in decision-making.
Critical thinking abilities are also seen as transferable throughout the talent pipeline—meaning they can be applied to a variety of occupations and positions, rather than being job-specific.