Critical Thinking Definition, Skills, and Examples

What is critical thinking? Critical thinking refers to the ability to analyze information objectively and make a reasoned judgment. It involves the evaluation of sources, such as data, facts, observable phenomena, and research findings.

Good critical thinkers can draw reasonable conclusions from a set of information, and discriminate between useful and less useful details to solve problems or make decisions.

Why Do Employers Value Critical Thinking Skills?

Employers want job candidates who can evaluate a situation using logical thought and offer the best solution.FEATURED VIDEO

Someone with critical thinking skills can be trusted to make decisions independently, and will not need constant handholding.

Critical thinking abilities are among the most sought-after skills in almost every industry and workplace.2 You can demonstrate critical thinking by using related keywords in your resume and cover letter, and during your interview.

Examples of Critical Thinking

The circumstances that demand critical thinking vary from industry to industry. Some examples include:

  • A triage nurse analyzes the cases at hand and decides the order by which the patients should be treated.
  • A plumber evaluates the materials that would best suit a particular job.
  • An attorney reviews evidence and devises a strategy to win a case or to decide whether to settle out of court.
  • A manager analyzes customer feedback forms and uses this information to develop a customer service training session for employees.

Promote Your Skills in Your Job Search

If critical thinking is a key phrase in the job listings you are applying for, be sure to emphasize your critical thinking skills throughout your job search.

Add Keywords to Your Resume

You can use critical thinking keywords (analytical, problem solving, creativity, etc.) in your resume. When describing your work history, include any of the skills listed below that accurately describe you. You can also include them in your resume summary, if you have one.

For example, your summary might read, “Marketing Associate with five years of experience in project management. Skilled in conducting thorough market research and competitor analysis to assess market trends and client needs, and to develop appropriate acquisition tactics.”

Mention Skills in Your Cover Letter

Include these critical thinking skills in your cover letter. In the body of your letter, mention one or two of these skills, and give specific examples of times when you have demonstrated those skills at work. Think about times when you had to analyze or evaluate materials to solve a problem.

Show the Interviewer Your Skills

You can use these skill words in an interview. Discuss a time when you were faced with a particular problem or challenge at work and explain how you applied critical thinking to solve it.

Some interviewers will give you a hypothetical scenario or problem, and ask you to use critical thinking skills to solve it. In this case, explain your thought process thoroughly to the interviewer. He or she is typically more focused on how you arrive at your solution rather than the solution itself. The interviewer wants to see you use analysis and evaluation (key parts of critical thinking) approach to the given scenario or problem.

 Of course, each job will require different skills and experiences, so make sure you read the job description carefully and focus on the skills listed by the employer.

Critical thinking skills include analysis, communication, open-mindedness, problem solving, and creativity.
ThoughtCo

Top Critical Thinking Skills

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.

  • Asking Thoughtful Questions
  • Data Analysis
  • Research
  • Interpretation
  • Judgment
  • Questioning Evidence
  • Recognizing Patterns
  • Skepticism

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.

  • Active Listening
  • Assessment
  • Collaboration
  • Explanation
  • Interpersonal
  • Presentation
  • Teamwork
  • Verbal Communication
  • Written Communication

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.

  • Flexibility
  • Conceptualization
  • Curiosity
  • Imagination
  • Drawing Connections
  • Inferring
  • Predicting
  • Synthesizing
  • Vision

Open-Mindedness

To think critically, you need to be able to put aside any assumptions or judgments and merely analyze the information you receive. You need to be objective, evaluating ideas without bias.

  • Diversity
  • Fairness
  • Humility
  • Inclusive
  • Objectivity
  • Observation
  • Reflection

Problem Solving

Problem solving is another critical thinking skill that involves analyzing a problem, generating and implementing a solution, and assessing the success of the plan. Employers don’t simply want employees who can think about information critically. They also need to be able to come up with practical solutions.

  • Attention to Detail
  • Clarification
  • Decision Making
  • Evaluation
  • Groundedness
  • Identifying Patterns
  • Innovation

More Critical Thinking Skills

  • Inductive Reasoning
  • Deductive Reasoning
  • Compliance
  • Noticing Outliers
  • Adaptability
  • Emotional Intelligence
  • Brainstorming
  • Optimization
  • Restructuring
  • Integration
  • Strategic Planning
  • Project Management
  • Ongoing Improvement
  • Causal Relationships
  • Case Analysis
  • Diagnostics
  • SWOT Analysis
  • Business Intelligence
  • Quantitative Data Management
  • Qualitative Data Management
  • Metrics
  • Accuracy
  • Risk Management
  • Statistics
  • Scientific Method
  • Consumer Behavior

Key Takeaways

Add Relevant Skills to Your Resume: Demonstrate critical thinking by using keywords related to your skills in your resume.

Highlight Skills in Your Cover Letter: Mention some of these skills in your cover letter, and include an example of a time when you demonstrated them at work.

Use Skill Words in Your Job Interview: Discuss a time when you were faced with a challenge at work and explain how you applied critical thinking to solve it.

Site URL: https://www.thoughtco.com/critical-thinking-definition-with-examples-2063745

This article was published on June 8 2020.

Critical Thinking is one of 10 life skills which hqas been identified by UNESCO. The other skills are:

  1. Problem Solving
  2. Effective Communication
  3. Decision Making
  4. Creative Making
  5. Interpersonal Relationship skills
  6. Self Awareness
  7. Empathy
  8. Copping with Stress
  9. Copping with Emotions.

Change Management

“People are always blaming circumstances for what they are. I do not believe in circumstances. The people who get on in the world are the people who get up and look for the circumstances they want and if they don’t find them, they make them!”
These words of George Bearnard Shaw are more relevant today than ever before. In the continuous changing society, it is imperative to rely on knowledge, process and technology – all three to keep pace with the change. Leaders must keep in mind the following aspects for effectively ensuring and properly implementing change in the organisations they lead. These are:

1. Innovation: The leader should have the the ability to innovate. This requires imagination, knowledge and perspective, and a thorough understanding of the organisation he leads.

Classifications of Personal Involvement – DH101: Fall 2014

2. Personal Involvement: It is necessary for the leader to be personally involved for the efficacy of the strategy to bring about change. He can not carry out the same by proxy.

3. The Leader should know what needs to be done in general, though not in detail. This should be true at every stage of change management.

4. The Leader must be able to deal with ambiguity and be willing to take the required risks. Not taking any risks is the biggest risk.

5. Above all, the leader must understand and correctly assess how much the organisation can change and at what speed.
Satish Kakri, Director – Nimble Foundation

Time Management

What are the effective time management techniques?  

The major difference between successful people and mediocre ones is how they manage time in the daily life. What are the effective time management techniques? It’s a question that baffles many people .Time is the best resource of human beings, so the critical question is: how do you manage your time wisely? Daily, we have to perform many tasks. Some of these are routine, but others are very important. So, one needs to know how to prioritize one’s time. There are some, who question the very idea of time management and ask, “Should time be managed”?                                       

While thoughts may vary but one thing on which we all agree is that we must get the very best out of our time .There are a number of popular strategies which management gurus have propounded on this very critical subject. One may evolve his or her system of time management by understanding the various elements of time management.

We run a very effective time management programme with proven techniques of prioritizing your daily tasks and maximizing the utility at time.

The details are as follows:

Analyzing the use of time

Accessing your typical day to costing your  time, per hour per minute, making a time log with 30 minute intervals.

Estimating time taken on routine task, review of action and think in time, estimating efficiency.

Allocating time

Routine work 15 %

Ongoing project 25 %

Planning and development 60 %

We offer an effective training program that will take you through all aspects of Time Management and enable you to become a truly effective and productive Manager.

How you will benefit?

• Develop your personal effectiveness to get more done in the same amount of time.
• Develop your personal initiative and beat procrastination.
• Develop a positive mental attitude and use ambition as the motivator rather than fear.
• Understanding right perspective to reorganize your goals through time management
• Manage priorities without losing out on the important ongoing projects.
• Set up your group goals and priorities.
• Discover the time wasters and to eradicate and minimizing.
• Learning to improve your focus and concentration for increased efficiency.

Contents

• How to recognize key components of effective goal setting.
• How to create clearly defined goals for your position.
• How to distribute time on urgent and important task without compromising on important ongoing project
• Learn the difference between being “busy” and “productive”
• How to plan ahead
• How to handle interruptions
• How to maximize your personal effectiveness
• How to say “no” to time wasters
• How to delegate in the right way for the right reasons
• How to recognize key components of effective goal setting.
• How to create clearly defined goals for your position.
• How to distribute time on urgent and important task without compromising on important ongoing projects.

Who Should Attend

Management Trainees, Senior Managers and other Company Executives

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