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What is Critical thinking? How to Develop Critical Thinking Skills?

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15th Oct, 2021
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What is Critical thinking? How to Develop Critical Thinking Skills?

You must have come across the term “critical thinking” when appearing for an interview. It is a common skill that is required in numerous job roles across industries and at varying levels of the career graph. 

But what is critical thinking?

In plain words, critical thinking focuses on processing and evaluating facts objectively to draw a conclusive judgment. The concept of critical thinking is inclusive of a self-directed, self-disciplined, self-monitored, and self-corrective thought process. It demands efficient communication and analytical thinking while the drive to defeat one’s native egocentrism and sociocentrism.

The earliest record of critical thinking lies in the teachings of Socrates as recorded by Plato. Socrates penned that one may not rely upon those in “authority” to gain valuable knowledge and understanding. He proved that people may have the strength and superior standing in society but still remain profoundly confused and illogical. He stressed the importance of asking meaningful questions that deeply investigate our thoughts before receiving ideas worthy of acceptance. 

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Critical thinking encourages you to ask yourself – what are my talents and what is my purpose?

Critical thinking is never general to all people – everyone is subject to episodes of uncontrolled or irrational thoughts. However, the ability and willingness to look outside of one’s opinion and POV is where critical thinking begins. It is natural to have blind spots and set beliefs, but breaking these restrictions and thinking differently is what makes you a critical thinker. 

How to sharpen your critical thinking skills?

This first and foremost step to developing critical thinking skills is turning into a judge for your ideas and actions. Without self-reflection, there is no growth. You have to dissect your thoughts and ideas thoroughly and ask yourself why you believe in a particular idea or why you perform a task a certain way. When you do that, you start explaining your ideas by evaluating them objectively. It helps you find clear reasons for your beliefs, strategies, and actions rather than muddled thoughts. 

Essentially, you do not require an elaborate lesson plan to learn critical thinking skills. All you really need is an open-minded approach to question things and curiosity to ask – 

  1. Why do I think that? 
  2. Am I tied to the idea emotionally? If so, why?
  3. Is there an instance where my ideas or beliefs were proved false?

Improving critical thinking skills is a lifelong process, one that’s worth your time and efforts. Thinking critically will help you reach the peak of personal growth in terms of knowledge and education. 

Now, the question is – how do you continue to hone your critical thinking skills?

The key is to focus on developing and mastering the basic skills like perception, investigation, reflection, assessment, derivation, clarification, and problem-solving. 

Somebody with these basic reasoning abilities can:

  1. Comprehend the connections between thoughts. 
  2. Perceive and evaluate different ideas. 
  3. Decide the significance and pertinence of contentions and thoughts. 
  4. Distinguish irregularities and blunders in a particular approach or thought process. 
  5. Recognize the various contentions associated with a specific issue. 
  6. Perceive any shortcomings or negative effects related to this proof of contention. 
  7. Identify the possible suggestions behind an articulation or contention. 
  8. Take an organized thinking approach to support their claim or argument. 

What can hinder basic decision-making?

As humans, we tend to learn from the individual inclinations and practices we adopt through life, which hinders the objective approach required for critical thinking. The best way to ensure objectivity while honing our critical thinking skills is to know about the individual attributes, inclinations, and predispositions that can cloud our objective point of view. This way, you’ll know what to avoid while brainstorming about possible solutions. This is a must, whether you are at the pre-activity thought stage or are re-evaluating a situation brought about by surprising or unanticipated obstacles to constant progress. The better we know the attributes and shortcomings that cloud our objectivity, our basic reasoning abilities will become sharper. 

Why do we need critical thinking in the workplace?

Today, employers look for professionals who can assess complex business challenges and situations using legitimate ideas and offer the most befitting solutions. This skill applies to almost every industry and business of all sizes, be it small, or medium, or big. 

By now, it’s clear that critical thinking helps you analyze a specific situation or problem objectively by inspecting it from all possible angles. When you think critically, your researching abilities and objective reasoning become stronger than ever.

Furthermore, as you delve deep into your thought processes and approaches, you understand yourself better. Your goals and motivations become much clearer to you. Naturally, you’re able to direct your efforts and attention to those aspects of your life that’ll help materialize your personal and professional goals. This will give you a deep sense of gratification and happiness. 

Critical thinking is crucial to thriving in this information age. As you research more, you start questioning more. This, in turn, drives you to find new pieces of information and possible explanations on any matter of subject. 

These facets of critical thinking come together to groom you into an objective thinker and thought-leader in your field.

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Master critical thinking with an MBA course: Take the upGrad advantage

Professional courses introduce you to the concept of problem-solving by posing problems to which you need to find solutions that are both creative and practical. They teach you to approach the problem from all angles and minutely examine every variable of the problem existing and potential. Students are encouraged to collaborate and brainstorm to identify tangible solutions while also identifying and acknowledging any personal lack of objectivity. This strengthens their innate critical thinking skills.

Listed below are some professional courses that hone your critical thinking skills naturally.

1. Master of Business Administration (MBA) Liverpool Business School (18 months)

This course offers benefits like one-on-one mentorship from leading industry figures, dual alumni status from Liverpool Bussiness School, and IMT Ghaziabad. You’re awarded an MBA degree from Liverpool Business School and a PGP in Management from IMT Ghaziabad. The course enables you to work abroad as it is recognized by World Education Services (WES) and offers as many as six specializations to choose from. The course offers 360-degree career assistance. Additionally, students get to experience a 1-week immersion program at the university campus.

2. MBA (Global) | Deakin Business School (24 Months)

You’re awarded an MBA (Global) degree from one of the top 1% B-schools worldwide and a PGP in Management from IMT Ghaziabad. The course offers one on one mentorship from industry leaders and relevant content curated by them and faculty. The course is recognized by World Education Services (WES) and grants you dual alumni status from Deakin Business School and IMT Ghaziabad. Even this program promises 360-degree career assistance to students.

3. Global Doctor of Business Administration (36 Months)

This is an online course designed for working professionals. It is certified by EduQua and provides one on one thesis supervision and international academic support. Individuals are granted alumni status from SSBM and provided with limitless avenues for research and international networking opportunities.

Conclusion 

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Critical thinking allows you to explore more on any situation and thereby make more educated choices in your daily life. No wonder a candidate with excellent critical thinking skills will be a valued addition to any company’s workforce. After all, organizations are always looking for professionals who can tackle everyday business issues intelligently and view circumstances from alternate points of view.

So, start now and pay close attention to developing your critical thinking abilities!

Profile

Aaron Edgell

Blog Author
Aaron is an experienced digital marketing leader across technology, education, and health & wellness. He has led award-winning agencies and completed the Harvard Business Analytics Program.
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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

1What is an MBA about?

An MBA is a post-grad degree in management that is recognized worldwide. It teaches its students theoretical and practical knowledge in business and management and acts as a launching pad that shoots individuals into their corporate careers. It is usually two years long and is a popular choice amongst individuals owing to the career flexibility it enables and the natural leadership qualities it instills.

2What are the advantages of pursuing an MBA?

To put it simply, an MBA enhances your graduation credentials by adding a real-life market perspective and introduces you to the corporate work structure. Whatever vocation you pursued in your graduation, be it economics, humanities, medicine, or accounts, your MBA degree adds a business and managerial perspective to your basic education on the subject, thus enhancing your existing skill-set.

3What is DBA? What are the advantages of adding this to your qualifications?

A Doctor of Business Administration is the highest academic accolade in management which is a testament to an individual’s expertise and skills in the business industry. DBA focuses on practical research instead of a theoretical one. While an MBA hones your management skills, a DBA hones your research, problem-solving, and critical thinking skills that can be put to use in various industries and job titles. Last but not least, it makes you eligible for promotions and a much better salary.

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