Do you react on situations about your emotions or personal biases? Do you want to improve communication and the flow of ideas with the people around you?
There are skills that can greatly improve your capacity to make objective, effective choices and arguments, and its all about your critical thinking skills. Without these skills, arguments and objective can often be one-sided.
Criticism just felt like a personal attack on your character rather than an opportunity to open up dialogue and communicate productively.
Let’s take a look at how to develop your critical thinking skills so that you can walk into any situation with the drills needed to set intense emotions aside and make insightful decisions.
1. Be A Self – Critic
The very first and most important thing for developing critical thinking skills is becoming a critic of your own thoughts and actions. Without self-reflection, you can’t find any development.
You can cut down your own thoughts by asking yourself why you do believe something and what are you doing . When you will do this, you will clarify your thoughts by assessing this information objectively and finding a solid logic to what you believe, rather than just an unclear idea.
Why do I believe on this thing?
Can I think of an examples in my life when this thing proved really true or false? Am I attracted to this idea emotionally? Why? When I self-reflect, Am I able to observe how I respond to any situation, in our minds and out side.
Another aspect of becoming a self-critic is knowing your strengths, weaknesses, personal preferences, priorities and biases.
When you get to know about, you can all that understand why you reached at certain situations from a specific perspective, and then you can step around that viewpoint because now you are aware of all about this.
2. Be An Active Listener
Thinking and listening at the same time is nearly impossible. To become a critical thinker, you should be a good listener to others’ ideas, arguments and criticisms without thinking of your response or reaction while they are speaking. You can’t properly absorb all the information someone is trying to convey to you if you don’t take the time to really listen.
Listening allows us to feel about others emotions. We hear someone’s story, struggles, ideas, successes and passions, and how they reached at that point. When we hear their perspective, we can absorb that information and analyse it.
When we use active listening skills, we can completely understand what someone is trying to say to us because that conversation continues until all parties can repeat what the other is trying to say.
3. Analyse Information
Analysing information is utmost for critical thinking. No one can think critically all times. Sometimes our emotions of joy, anger, sadness or other are too great, and other times we try to focus on the central issue.
To get success, we need to analyse the information before us, whether it is the information in our mind or being shared by others. We can break it down by evaluating what is being said, and ensuring that we clearly understand what it is going to happen.
Then we can assess all arguments, including our own, and think how these decisions would impact others, as well as the bottom line. When we need to step back and analyse an argument, it allows us to reach at an objective viewpoint.
4. Nonviolent Communication
Critical thinking isn’t much helpful if you keep on communicating in a violent, nonproductive way. When you are listening and analysing different arguments, you first need to be able to recognise valid logic. Then you need the ability to communicate with other people in a productive way.
The base of nonviolent communication is compassion, observation and collaboration. When we are in any scenario with compassion, we are already in a peaceful mindset, rather than a defensive one.
When we observe, we can observe our arguments too and others without judgement and evaluation. We can detach our emotions from an idea. He doesn’t like my idea, so he must not like me. And collaboration naturally happens when everyone comes with a compassionate process, open mind, with the focus on solving the problem at hand rather than protecting anyone’s ego.
5. Develop Your Foresight
The ability that predict the future impact of any decision is foresight. Foresight is a critical component for success in all aspects of life. When you decide to go somewhere, you plan ahead to see what the job outlook really is and the safety of a neighbourhood.
If you are moving a business, it is wise to examine the impact of that decision. Can it be too far for some of your talented employees to drive? Would you lose business because of the changing you make? What would you gain? Every decision should be taken carefully, with consideration of how the choice can really affects your bottom line, but also for the people who are working toward success by your side.
Critical thinking requires the ability to reflect on one’s beliefs, as well as someone else’s ideas, and then see the connections between the things. It requires the ability to listen actively to others, to assess, dissect and appraise arguments, and to keep the intense emotions away from the topic at hand.