Critical thinking is a process of objective evaluation of facts and the consideration of possible solutions to problems. Critical thinking is important because it helps individuals and teams more effectively diagnose problems and identify possible solutions that aren’t entirely how to promote critical thinking at first.
In addition, critical thinking can help resolve conflicts in the workplace. When individuals consider a range of possible approaches to solving a problem rather than relying on bias or snap judgments, they are more likely to arrive at a better solution. Here are five ways to encourage critical thinking in your organization. An important first step to building organizational strength in critical thinking is to hire individuals who are already strong in that area. Behavioral interviewing is an effective way to gauge a candidate’s strengths in critical evaluation and analysis. In addition, when you make critical thinking a desired competency for leadership and promotion, you begin to build a pipeline of talented critical thinkers.
It’s critical to create an environment where the behaviors related to critical thinking are a natural part of your company culture. Another way to promote critical thinking in the workplace is to avoid jumping to conclusions. Instead, approach a problem by first developing a common understanding of the challenges it presents. Sometimes the simple act of talking things out can help to spur the critical, objective analysis of problems.
When individuals have a forum for addressing and discussing one big problem or a series of related problems, they generate new ideas, share pros and cons of certain solutions, and take advantage of opportunities to collaborate with coworkers on creative solutions to workplace problems. Leadership development and teamwork-skills training can help build employees’ critical thinking strengths by encouraging a mind-set and skill-set change. As individuals learn new behaviors, they begin to see broader problems and solutions that exist beyond their individual roles and consider the larger picture when looking at a problem. Experiential learning works particularly well in promoting critical thinking because learning by doing encourages a critical skill set. The immersive nature of an experiential approach keeps employees fully engaged so that they continually use their critical-thinking and problem-solving skills. When properly cultivated in the workplace, critical thinking can help individuals and teams overcome challenges and meet business goals.