How to Improve Critical Thinking Skills: 7 Effective Techniques

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Originally published May 19, 2021
How to Improve Critical Thinking Skills: 7 Effective Techniques

In a study in 2015, the demand for critical thinking skills in newly graduates climbs to 158% over three years. The definition of critical thinking is to analyze, process, and make sense of information carefully. If you're interested in improving your specific skills, here are the seven ways to do so.

Do you find yourself making impulse decisions? Are you feeling unhappy about things you have done because you constantly find yourself pondering the situation before coming up with a decision? Then here are the ways that will help you become a better critical thinker and have wise decisions in life!

Evaluate Your Decision Making

Evaluating and processing all of your daily choices and decisions is not only required for your research paper. It's also an excellent exercise to realize the effects of your actions on that particular day. Making decisions is hard and tiring, but unfortunately, everyone has to do it every day. From what you should eat for lunch up to life-changing decisions like what you should study or who to marry, decision making is a part of life.

Identifying the successful decisions you have made and situations that didn't turn out as well as you hoped is a starting point of improving your critical thinking skills. Remember to develop plans to ensure that you have not overlooked or missed any important information, and be sure to reveal and correct any favoritism that you may have.

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Take the time to process the hows and whys of your decision. It's best to know how your personal preferences and biases might influence your right decisions. Decision-making is the act of choosing between two or more things. Sometimes, people make decisions by endlessly searching for more information or getting their friends and family to offer their recommendations.

To make a good decision, you need to be less sure about everything. Overconfidence might lead you to overlook critical things that affect your judgment. It's best to process your thoughts by framing them distinctively. Looking at various points of view will give you different perspectives. Being able to access all sides will help you decide decisively.

Observe the Things Around You

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Observing is an important life skill. It helps you learn people's behavior and actions and is a great technique that you can use to enhance your analytical skills.

For example, analyzing how someone talks with their choice of words and their body language sends strong signals about their character and how they really feel. Recognizing unspoken messages will help you formulate good questions to foster a supportive relationship with that individual. You can make them trust you by simply seeming interested in what they talk about and when you try to understand and meet their needs.

At the same time, the critical thinking process also requires observing the opinions and arguments of other people who have different perspectives. Throughout your life, you will meet acquaintances with unique points of view you can learn from. It is now your responsibility to weigh all of the information from all sources and come to your conclusions.

Communicate With Others

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Communication is essential to our everyday lives. Effective communication is the giving and taking of thoughts, ideas, information, and messages between an individual or group. But it cannot be called communication if the receiver doesn't understand the other party's message.

Clear communication is a basic concept of an individual's personal and professional life. You're equipping yourself with skill sets that will help you acknowledge different points of view, such as focusing on someone talking instead of focusing on how you're going to respond. You should not miss any important details and consider their thoughts with gravity. Your personal life depends entirely on how effectively you communicate.

Meanwhile, spending time talking with different groups includes being an active listener. Active listening is the process of attentively listening to an individual or a group. It gives you the ability to experience and understand the team member's situation, which is helpful for exceptional teamwork and resolving conflicts.

Enhancing your communication skills will help you in all aspects of your life. The capability to communicate information accurately, distinctly, and as intended is a vital life skill and should not be overlooked. It's never too late to develop your communication skills and, by doing so, improve your quality of life.

Analyze the Information

You'll get bombarded with problems to solve and decisions to make on a daily basis. Getting pressured by these often leads to stress that might urge you to make an impulsive decision. Before you decide, you need to pick information that is of value. Filtering the information by deciding which is essential and which is not will help you in processing and analyzing it effectively.

One of the significant steps of becoming a critical thinker is knowing how to gather data. You should know how to classify different information that you will use to make life decisions. Successfully achieving your goals or resolving problems requires analyzing all the information you've gathered.

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The evidence to support contrasting points of view will help you process information. You'll be able to inspect each side of the issue so you'll know how to consider it with attention to any effect it might have on others. Make sure to use different skills in your everyday life in making better decisions to help you out in the real world.

Be Aware of Your Thoughts and Opinions

Humans have their mental processes, but not everyone knows the importance of critical thinking. It helps you to improve your problem-solving skills and make better decisions in your life. It is an essential skill that you should always use in your daily activities. It's best to always strive to improve critical thinking because you can apply it to any situation, problem, question, or concept.

A critical thinker knows their cognitive biases and personal preconceived ideas and how they affect objective decisions and solutions. Everyone has their biases but becoming aware of them is what makes critical thinking possible. Besides the fact that everyone has their own opinions on things, you should know how to pick out the important things that matter meticulously.

Cultivating mental awareness takes a lot of time and is an intriguing subject of any academic paper. Re-evaluating yourself and your values, avoiding negative thought patterns, and taking steps to find balance in day-to-day life will help you increase awareness of your mental processes.

Develop Your Curiosity

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Curiosity is a vital thought process of learning and eagerness to discover new things in the world. It helps us survive the real world. Being someone who constantly asks open-ended questions will give you more details and possibilities you can explore to understand the issue further. It will be great if you're a curious person.

Developing your curiosity makes your mind active since the mind is like a muscle that becomes stronger through continual usage. It also makes you more observant when it forms new ideas that might create significant changes in your existence. It opens up possibilities hidden behind your everyday life, and it takes a curious mind to have new discoveries.

Keeping an open mind is essential if you want to have a curious and critical mind. You should be open to all of the things you will encounter because some of these that you know and believe might be wrong, and you should be prepared to accept all of these things.

Approach Arguments With Compassion

In the modern-day period, social media has been the medium of communication (and a usual topic for homework assignments). Things can escalate quickly, from name-calling to harassment to even death threats. These already became the norm, so trying a friendly approach can be intimidating. The first thing you need to look for is the logic in an opponent's argument. Focus on the critical thinking skills you apply to your own decisions and study their motivations, evidence, and reasoning.

The approach with compassion won't certainly lead to peacefulness, but using the skill sets you have, you'll need to examine all the information and, hopefully, find common ground. The capability to recognize others' emotions and cleverly but gracefully working it out with them is considered an important skill. You might want to include it in your LinkedIn account.

Keep Working on Your Critical Thinking Skills

Despite the possibility that you'll have hurdles from time to time in improving your critical thinking, make sure you're self-aware enough to use these ways properly. Improvements help us enhance ourselves to have a better life. Learning to think critically is a long-term journey, and there are always new things to learn.

Henrique Bertulino
Head of Customer Success

Mens Sana in Сorpore Sano. Holistic organic lifestyle)