Critical Thinking Definition and Importance

What is Critical Thinking?

As an intelligent being, the human is not supposed to reach a conclusion and make a decision based on the common sense only. We are supposed to make a better judgment using our primary tool in analyzing, which is called critical thinking. Many people have given different meanings to critical thinking. Boiling down from various scholars’ ideas, critical thinking is the ability to think rationally and make judgments based on reasons obtained from the analysis. In fact, many of you use critical thinking in solving many things in your daily activities, but some are not aware of their own judgment. Critical thinking has become one of the most sought-after traits by employers all around the world. The following paragraphs will show why employers seek critical thinking skills from employees, how to use these skills for your benefit, and list top five critical thinking skills.

Why do employers appreciate critical thinking skills?

Critical thinking includes many essential qualities such as findings, data evaluation, data analysis, clear explanation, and data interpretation. Outstanding critical thinkers can differentiate between useful and unimportant information for seeking solutions to problems and making good decisions. They, moreover, can draw rational deduction from a set of information.

Every employer is alike when it comes to recruiting capable employees who are fit for the jobs. They need employees who can use reason to assess a situation and produce the best solution that helps in tackling this situation without excessive spending of the organization resources. Those who possess critical thinking skills and know how to put them to good use are often entrusted with the decision making without any interference from the higher position. As we can see how important critical thinking skills are, it is crucial that we should take note that every industry needs people who can think critically to work in its firm.

When it comes to practice, examples of critical thinking skills may vary from one industry to another as each firm has different peculiarities. For instance, teachers may use critical thinking skills to seek an answer to why their students behave poorly in class or find the best way for students to learn. Police officers would use critical thinking to figure out how criminals would act in any given situation so they could bring those criminals to justice. By using critical thinking, lawyers would review evidence and similar cases and create a strategy to win the case.

Using Critical Thinking to Your Benefit

In job recruitment, employers usually put a few requirements besides the skills, necessary for the job. One of those additional requirements is, most of the time, critical thinking skills. If critical thinking has become a key phrase in the job listings you are eager to apply for, you can use it to your benefits. You can do so by including the phrase or related phrases in your resumes, cover letters, and even during interviews. Either in your resume summary, if you by any chance have one, or in your description of work history, you can choose to include keywords which are related to critical thinking skills that you believe you possess to draw the attention of your to-be-employers. In the body of your cover letter, you can mention these skills by giving specific examples of times that you used them during your work to solve any problems efficiently. You should think about the times you used these skills to analyze and evaluate things before reaching the solution. Interviewing is the most important state to demonstrate your critical thinking skills. Most interviewers use critical and hypothetical scenario to evaluate candidates. It is the best time to show them that you are capable of using your critical thinking skills to explain your ideas thoroughly. Also, note that HR managers mostly tend to focus on how you deliver your response rather than the answer itself.

On a daily basis, using critical thinking is usually related to making your life better or getting yourself out of any situation without severe effects on your environment. You can use critical thinking to identify what is harmful and beneficial to your life by analyzing its consequences or effects if you come into contact with it. Somehow, critical thinking helps in getting you rid of life-threatening obstacles. It helps because you can know what is dangerous and what you should not do. Remember that the need for using critical thinking is all around us, at all times. Humans are born curious, purposeful, and ambitious. So, if you want some degree of control in your life, you are really in need of critical thinking skills.

Top Five Critical Thinking Skills

  • Problem-Solving: Problem-solving is one of the most important critical thinking skills that everyone needs to possess. It involves examining the problems carefully, coming up with good solutions, and putting them into practice efficiently. Employers need people who know how to handle critical situations conveniently.
  • Analytical skills: To become a good critical thinker, you have to know how to analyze things without referring your information to common sense. Those who acquire analytical skills can understand the information clearly and know what it represents through careful analysis.
  • Creativity: You need to involve yourself with creativity because using critical thinking skills, as a rule, means that you are creative. You should come up with new solutions that no one could ever think of. This is how creativity plays a big role in critical thinking.
  • Communication: You can never work or think alone all the time. Communicate with others to share your views and also get their ideas in return. This way, you will have a bigger picture when looking for a solution because you get help from communicating with the group.
  • Open-mindedness: You need to be open-minded by putting aside your bias, assumption, and poor judgment so that you can think critically. Being open-minded helps you analyze problems in a non-biased manner, which is very important in making correct decisions most of the time.