What are Critical Thinking Skills? You may not be aware of it, but we use critical thinking skills constantly. Critical Thinking is the ability to think rationally and clearly, given a set of facts, on what to do or what to believe. Let us look at a few examples here: You wake up one morning and read the news feed on your phone. The news states that the state treasury has been robbed and the robbers have managed to escape with a million rupees. You are shocked and your immediate reaction is to pass on this news to your friends, who in turn pass it on to others. However, if you had exercised your critical thinking skills, you have stopped to analyse the facts. Can the state treasury actually be robbed? Can someone actually enter the state treasury? If someone enters, how would they leave? The ability to separate fact from fiction is an important critical thinking skill, and we all need to develop it all our lives. Here is another example: You are late for a meeting and you are driving down the highway. You get a text message on your phone. You know the message has something to do with your upcoming meeting and you want to pick up your phone, but you are aware of the dangers of texting while driving. You analyse the pros and cons of answering versus ignoring the message and act accordingly. The ability to think logically step by step and arrive at a wise decision is another critical thinking skill. How can we develop our Critical Thinking Skills? a. Contemplate, reflect on what you have read of and think you know already. Is there a bias? Is it all true? Were you undergoing a difficult phase in life when you first came across the story in a newspaper article? Did that affect your reasoning and judgement? Can you realign your judgement? b. When you disagree with someone, confront them. This will help you see the other persons view point and understand their actions better, which in turn will give you a chance to apply your critical thinking skills to analyse the situation and then arrive at a conclusion c. Pay attention to criticism when it is directed at you. Ask probing questions and understand why you or your actions have been criticised. Think rationally and arrive at a firm conclusion Some of our greatest critical thinkers Socrates: He believed that any idea must be deeply considered before any action is taken Albert Einstein: He debunked existing scientific theories to create his own, after much critical thinking and analyses Can I learn critical thinking? Yes, you definitely can, with the right support and help. With the need for active self-reflection, problem-solving and consensus-building skills, the demand for critical thinkers has grown. Call today to find out how you too can exercise those grey cells for higher level thinking.