What is critical thinking?

Critical thinking is the act of analyzing facts to understand a problem or topic thoroughly. The critical thinking process typically includes steps such as collecting information and data, asking thoughtful questions and analyzing possible solutions. For example, if you’re working in human resources and need to resolve a conflict between two employees, you will use critical thinking to understand the nature of the conflict and what action should be taken to resolve the situation.

critical thinking

Analysis

Part of critical thinking is the ability to carefully examine something, whether it is a problem, a set of data, or a text. People with analytical skills can examine information, understand what it means, and properly explain to others the implications of that information.

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critical thinking

Communication

Often, you will need to share your conclusions with your employers or with a group of colleagues. You need to be able to communicate with others to share your ideas effectively. You might also need to engage critical thinking in a group. In this case, you will need to work with others and communicate effectively to figure out solutions to complex problems.

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critical thinking

Creativity

Critical thinking often involves creativity and innovation. You might need to spot patterns in the information you are looking at or come up with a solution that no one else has thought of before. All of this involves a creative eye that can take a different approach from all other approaches.

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Сritical Thinking Skills

Why critical thinking is important

Critical thinking skills are essential in every industry at every career level, from entry-level associates to top executives. Good critical thinkers can work both independently and with others to solve problems.

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Guide to Critical Thinking: Learn to Use Critical Thinking Skills

1. The California Critical Thinking Assessment Test. This is the most widely used, and is actually a family of tests, with different versions for different ages, educational levels and professional fields. It is based on research and is considered a reliable and objective measure of core reasoning skills. It allows test-takers to show the critical thinking skills required for successfully solving problems and making decisions.

“ This test is designed to help organisations make decisions about staffing and development. It is completed online, with test questions drawn from a large pool. ”

Jason Davidson

“ It is used widely for selecting candidates for graduate, professional and managerial jobs. This test has five subcategories that measure critical thinking ability, the ability to use evidence to draw conclusions and how test-takers use logic to differentiate between inferences, abstractions, and generalisations. ”

Kyle Smith

“ These are tests for students in grades 5 to 12+. As well as testing students’ critical thinking skills, they are sometimes used to teach critical thinking, for university admissions, careers, and employment, and for research.”

Rick Cook

5 critical thinking skills

Here are five common and impactful critical thinking skills you might consider highlighting on your resume or in an interview

The Critical Thinking Process

You should be aware that none of us think critically all the time.

How to improve your critical thinking skills

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