Critical thinking is a valuable skill to have in any workplace especially for leaders and managers. Whatever line of work you’re into, critical thinking will help you become capable of solving problems efficiently. It is also essential in becoming an effective decision maker.
But what is critical thinking and why is it useful?
Critical thinking is the process of analyzing a subject matter or problem in order to come up with a rational decision or judgement. It allows us to see important factors that we might have missed out or overlooked.
Getting to the root cause
Effective decisions require careful analysis. To form a decision, it is first necessary to get to the root cause of the problem. Critical thinking starts out with identifying the main cause of the issue at hand.
For example, a low performing unit at the workplace may have issues with productivity. This can be caused by several factors. Is there a flaw in workflow? Or maybe there is a problem in terms of delegation of tasks? Could it be a problem with the management? Identify the strengths and weaknesses. You can get input from other teams in the office and evaluate the concerned team.
Once you’ve finished identifying the underlying problems, when you can move forward to developing solutions.
Coming up with potential solutions
Finding the right solution does not come easy. In this stage, you need to write down all possible solutions you can think of. It’s all about input. They don’t need to be the best ideas. It doesn’t matter if they will work or not. After all, it’s too early to tell what works and what doesn’t. At this point, you just need to lay them all on the table.
After brainstorming and writing down all the possible solutions, then you need to do some evaluation. Consider the possible threats and impacts of each potential solution. How will it be implemented? What are the predicted outcomes?
Evaluating each possible solution will ultimately help you in achieving your goal. And that is to come up with the best solution for your issue in the workplace. You’ll get a better idea on which solution best addresses the underlying problems.
You’ve identified the root cause, listed down potential solutions, and determined the best plan of action. Great! Now we’ve reached the last step – implementation. Execute the plan. If it’s a simple and straightforward solution, then move forward with it immediately. If it’s a more complicated process, then distribute the tasks accordingly and make sure you follow a timeline.
The goal of critical thinking is to help create smarter solutions for any problem. Whether it’s for a small team or a large corporation, critical thinking is a proven strategy for resolving issues.