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Before we talk about the basics of critical thinking we must know about critical thinking. Critical thinking can be defined as the ability to reason critically and skillfully, generate ideas, and analyze them to get the best result out of a situation. It can also be said that critical thinking is the ability of thinkers to engage in reflective and independent thinking.
Naturally, as humans, we tend not to get involved in things that are not profitable or things that will not benefit us in any way. In this article, we will be discussing the basics of critical thinking. Critical thinkers do not rush into making decisions; they judge every situation and idea rather than accepting them as they were. Critical thinkers are more active learners than passive recipients of the information.
At some decision-making points in our lives, we make mistakes and run into making wrong decisions. A critical thinker thinks about the possibility of arriving at the same solution with the best possible solution. Thinking critically puts a person in control of situations and circumstances. Although, as emotional beings, we can be ruled by our emotions and quickly have some background decisions made in our hearts already, even at this, we must analyze every situation. It is often said that only a fool rush into making decisions, critical decisions that can change their lives.
It is possible that some life happenings might not make one remember to analyze some of the situations at that particular moment, and those moments require answers.
Critical thinking can also mean the ability to mentally process situations and circumstances and analyze ideas to give the desired answer or solution. This is the process of evaluating situations and not depending on formal or already known answers but digging deep into matters and then arriving at a better and most suitable solution or answer. There is a famous saying that “It is easier said than done,” this means that it is easy when we say some things, but the actual applications of these words are not what we practice.
Critical thinking is needed in all areas of life to make good decisions. The endpoint of critical thinking is to arrive at a problem-solving state; this is needed in our workplace, marriage, family, and other decision-making areas of our lives. A critical thinker is a problem solver. Somebody might want to know why critical thinking is essential. We have to go through the stress to think and analyze situations to get the better and the most reliable solutions to problems.
Basics of Critical Thinking?
To be a critical thinker, you must understand the rudiments of critical thinking. You cannot engage in critical thinking without understanding what steps are involved in it or how to go about it. The most successful professionals are people with the best critical thinking skills. For example, there will be times when doctors will be faced with challenges to treat a patient with an unknown ailment.
And don’t show a reasonable number of symptoms to affirm what sickness the person is suffering from; the doctor might lose the patient if they do not combine expertise with critical thinking. It happens to all professionals, be it the engineers, lawyers, architects, and so on.
what are the basics of critical thinking?
The first step a person takes to engage in critical thinking is to analyze the situation. The analysis gives you a broad view of the issue; you can gather information and relevant data from there. It exposes you to new things that you haven’t come across before, thereby extending your knowledge base when you analyze situations. If a situation is not well analyzed, the most suitable and effective solution will not arrive.
For professionals like building contractors and architects need to analyze the project they are giving before starting because if they don’t do so, they might end up at a loss. The analysis opens your eyes to issues even if you are not familiar with them, it takes you around the situation, and from there, you begin to think about what the solutions would be.
Once you have the needed information and relevant data, interpretation is the next step. You need to find common ground amongst all the relevant information that you have. The goal of interpretation is to make connections between ideas and convert them to actionable ideas. Interpretation allows you to turn abstract ideas into achievable solution models. Interpretation gives you an insight into angles more than you have known before. It offers flexibility such that one is short of ideas; once one idea is not working, you switch to the other one.
All the basis of critical thinking is necessary, but the presentation must be given special attention. Presentation is the outcome of your analysis and interpretation. Once your data is analyzed and interpreted, the next thing is to present your findings. It is a terrible thing to perform excellent analysis and interpretation only to be deficient in the presentation aspect. During the presentation of your analysis and presentation, you must capture the situation and expressly present encompassing solutions.
The final basis of critical thinking is the evaluation stage, where you examine and evaluate your results. Determining the correct measure, accurate metrics that worked well, and things to note during the process are all involved in the evaluation stage. At this stage, you can identify where personal sentiment has come from it, and then you can remove it. The results must be seen with intellectual integrity, real-life applications, and problem-solving.
WHAT ARE THE BENEFITS OF CRITICAL THINKING?
The human ability to solve problems through critical thinking will never disappear because as the days go by, new problems arise, and critical thinkers are needed to find solutions and create lasting ideas. Technology has advanced that we now have robots, and robots are automated. One of the best skills that cannot be automated is critical thinking, and you don’t have to spend to have this skill.
The following are the benefits of critical thinking?
It is needed as a leader to make solid decisions: As a leader, you are not expected to make wrong decisions or be pushed by the followers to make the wrong decisions. A leader is expected to lead by example, and one of the tools you will need to excel as a leader in Critical Thinking. Critical thinking appears to be precisely what is needed by leaders to lead correctly and by example. For the success of an investment or organization, precise decisions must be made for the betterment and the advancement of the company.
For Vision Clarity:
Critical thinking doesn’t only make the task easier. It makes the vision clearer. A critical thinker actively questions every idea rather than settling for the ready-made answer. By doing this, you can be sure of a plan’s result if all things are equal. For an investor to trust in his business plan and get back his money and profit, critical thinking is needed. People in business don’t just wake up in the morning and decide to invest in a business, and they would have engaged in critical thinking to examine the future of the business and the pro and cons.
For better decision making:
Critical thinking aims to have the best solution for the issue at hand. For a better decision-making ability, one needs to be a critical thinker. At first, it might look like the critical thinker is a fool and doesn’t know what he or she is doing, but in the end, when things fall in place, they will be celebrated and reckoned with.
WHAT ARE THE BARRIERS TO CRITICAL THINKING?
Ego restricts a man from thinking. Instead of searching for ideas, ego makes a man feel like he knows all things. To be a critical thinker, you must be open to other people’s ideas, but ego prevents a man from doing that. A self-centered person believes his decisions are superior to others, and research has it that it is a difficult barrier to overcome because it a behavioral.
Some people find it hard to find time for themselves; they are busy in their heads even when they have nothing to do. Time can be a barrier for people who run multiple work shifts every day; all they do after work is to go and sleep. Most of them do not even have time for other things aside from work.
Hunger for answers:
This is very common among young people; they are in the haste of finding answers, they tend to show strength in the face of problems instead of displaying wisdom. When one is pressed and hungry for answers, one might accept any answer and the most likable and final answer.
Group work doesn’t give room for independent thinking; it is not easy to think in group work critically.
Drone mentality: People who have this mentality find it hard to pay attention to things, and someone like this cannot think critically.