Eight Habits of Effective Critical Thinkers

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No band-aid solutions

Often we are so eager to fix the problem that we don't take the time to figure out what the problem really is. A big trap here is correlation versus cause. Correlation means that two things happen at the same time. Cause means that one thing causes the other. Let's say that ever since your birthday, you've been dropping cookies on the floor. Has age made you clumsy? Perhaps. Or perhaps the new hand cream your aunt gave you for your birthday is making your hands slippery. Critical thinkers always seek root cause.

Critical thinking is the ability to make decisions, solve problems, and take appropriate action in a systematic fashion. It has been identified as one of the key skills required for future success by educators, business leaders and governments. Most managers (97.2 percent) surveyed by the American Management Association for its 2012 Critical Skills Survey believed that critical thinking skills were important to drive future growth of their organizations. The same group, however, believed that only 10 percent of their employees were fully competent in critical thinking.

This slideshow features 10 simple ways to become a better critical thinker at work and in life, as identified by Jen Lawrence. Keeping these points in mind will help make you a more effective critical thinker: You will solve problems more easily, reach better decisions, and will have more agreement from stakeholders. Your life will be easier, you will be more popular, and your enemies will have more reason to hate you. But hey, that's the way the cookie crumbles. 

Jen Lawrence, who holds an MBA in finance, has widely written and spoken on corporate culture, critical thinking, and strategic planning. She has been interviewed by media outlets including The Toronto StarReport on Business TVNational Post, and Toronto Life. A resident of Toronto, Lawrence is a proud mother of two children.

Connect with Lawrence: http://engagethefox.wordpress.com/.


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