Critical Thinking in Business: How Can My Employees Develop These Skills?

Critical thinking skills are an important part of business as problems will always crop up and there will be a need for creative solutions. Critical thinking in a business setting can help employees better understand how to think outside of the proverbial box and make good decisions regarding what has to be done to get the job done. Let's take a look at what your employees could learn through a formal course on critical thinking. 

What is Critical Thinking?

Many don’t understand the process involved in critical thinking. In general, critical thinkers can put their emotions and biases aside and make decisions based on logic, reason and using statistics and proof rather than gut feelings.

Critical thinking is a not an automatic thought process—as most people will make decisions based on self-interest and emotions. This is a natural process and human nature.

There are ways to help your team improve their critical thinking. Below are the steps involved in critical thinking:

  • Identify the Situation: The first thing you need to do is identify the issue or situation and the factors that can influence it. Once identified, you will be able to look more deeply into the situation and possible solutions.
  • Conduct the Appropriate Research: It is critical to know everything you can about the situation, both positive and negative. This is important to be able to make a final evaluation.
  • Identify Biases: This is an important, yet difficult skill. You must be able to recognize biases and set aside your own. This is the only way you’ll be able to see the situation at hand from different viewpoints.
  • Draw Conclusions: Critical thinkers can draw conclusions based on all the information they have gathered from their research and data.
  • Relevance: A key challenge is being able to discern what information is relevant and should be used in the decision-making process.
  • Generate Solutions: Look at all the information and come to conclusions, understanding that the best solution may be unique, out-of-the-box ideas.
  • Long and Short-Term Solutions: Clearly look at all the information you’ve accumulated and devise a plan that will implement both short- and long-term solutions.

How Will a Critical Thinker Benefit a Business?

As an employer, you will look for critical thinkers as they will be able to develop innovative solutions that will set you apart from your competition and help the business be more competitive. No matter what position you are looking to fill, from an intern to mail room staff to a top-level executive to IT managers, critical thinkers can positively impact the business because they are problem solvers.

Here are some benefits that critical thinkers offer:

  • Critical thinkers have empathy for those with other points of view.
  • They tend to be self-directed and self-discipline and can problem solve and usually have good communications skills.
  • They have problem solving skills in real-world situations.
  • They can think rationally and solve problems systematically.
  • They can deal with changes quickly and effectively and can analyze information and use that info to solve problems.
  • Critical thinkers tend to be creative and often come up with innovative, out-of-the-box solutions.
  • Critical thinkers use facts to come up with solutions, not their own emotions or biases.

Training your Team to be Critical Thinkers

You may have a skilled team in place, but unless the leaders possess critical thinking skills, you may be lacking. Often training your team can help them gain this important skill, which in turn will help your organization.

As indicated, the IT industry is dependent on critical thinkers. Many IT certifications include critical thinking skill building curriculums. This enables IT professionals to manage complex networks, implement new ideas and manage numerous enterprise environments at the same time, keeping them running at top performance and secure.

Infotec: A Training Solutions Company You can Count On for your Company

If you’re looking to enhance the critical thinking skills of your top IT employees, you may consider additional training. Infotec IT & Leadership Training offers a wide range of IT programs to enhance the skill set of your team, while providing deep critical thinking tools, to make good employees even more valuable to your business. Connect with us today to learn more about how to get training for all of your employees!

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