Critical Thinking

Developing the Right Mindset and Skills

Critical Thinking - Developing the Right Mindset and Skills

© iStockphoto

Use curiosity and rigor to understand what you're dealing with.

We make hundreds of decisions every day and, whether we realize it or not, we're all critical thinkers.

We're thinking critically whenever we weigh up our options, prioritize our responsibilities, or think ahead to the likely effects of our actions. The trouble is, research shows that we're not always very good at it. Yet more and more employers are naming critical thinking as a required skill in their job advertisements.

This article introduces you to a wide range of tools that you can start using straight away to develop your critical thinking skills.

What Is Critical Thinking?

Critical thinking is the discipline of rigorously and skillfully using information, experience, observation, and reasoning to guide your decisions, actions and beliefs. You'll need to actively question every step of your thinking process to do it well.

Developing the Right Mindset for Critical Thinking

Prime yourself for success by adopting an appropriate mindset before you work on developing specific skills.

Being willing and able to explore alternative approaches and experimental ideas is crucial. Can you think through "what if" scenarios, create plausible options, and test out your theories? If not, you'll tend to write off ideas and options too soon, so you may miss the best answer to your situation. Our article on Opening Closed Minds can help you to stay receptive.


Access the Full Article

This article is only available in full within the Mind Tools Club.

Learn More and Join Today

Already a Club member? Log in to finish this article.


Rate this resource