How To Improve Critical Thinking Skills at Work

Dr. Ankit Sharma, PhD

Updated on:

Improve Critical Thinking Skills

Be it personal or professional life, you can never refute the importance & the compulsion of good decision-making power. Critical thinking skills help us to find any flaws within us or out there in our decision-making progression & help us to attain a better outcome by eradicating those flaws. Simply put, irrespective of your profession or activity, you need to Improve Critical Thinking Skills; with that skill, you will be able to think critically & act swiftly.

Some Ways To Develop Critical Thinking Skills

Improve Critical Thinking Skills

1. Keep Gathering Information

They say, ‘Knowledge is power,’ & this is an undeniable fact. To Improve Critical Thinking, you must keep your eyes & ears open to grab any new information. That information may be related to your industry or field of profession, or maybe not. But it is vital to keep gathering them.

Though you may be wondering, amid millions of pieces of information, how you can remember them all, we are indeed living in the age of information & trillions of information circulating us. But it is vital to filter out unnecessary information.

It is not always possible to memorize every single piece of vital information. Therefore, it is wise to maintain a notebook to write them down & occasionally browsing the pages can be really helpful.

2. Recognize Your Wants

Recognizing exactly what you want is vital to improving critical thinking skills. We must think critically to resolve problems so we can meet our goals. Every choice we make has a direct goal or purpose attached to it, & recognizing exactly what that is, our actual desires attached to it gives us a direction to work with.

So, keep asking yourself: What exactly do I want? What do I expect to come out of this? You need to know the right decision or the use of critical thinking before you get all the answers to these questions.

3. Become Self-Aware

By becoming more self-aware, you can reconsider your thought process, core values, morals, ethics & other beliefs. What do you truly believe in? How do your thoughts & actions reflect those values? Think tangibly about your likes & dislikes. Recognizing your personal preferences, strengths & weaknesses, & prejudices can help you better comprehend why you approach situations from a particular perspective.

4. Question Your Prejudices

We often think from only our own viewpoint to manage a particular problem. However, another way of improving critical thinking skills & decision-making is if you try to see it from another point of view or consider another approach.

Moreover, it provides you with a clearer picture of the prevailing circumstances. Suppose you are trying to solve a problem at work. Consider how your superior, partner or best friend might approach it. Now consider how your mentor might approach it.

By allowing yourself to think about different perspectives, you might generate solutions you hadn’t previously considered.

5. Understand Your Mental Process Properly

Understand & assess how you obtain & process information. Recognizing how you listen, then infer, & eventually react or respond to information is important for becoming more mentally effective & a critical thinker in the workplace.

Being a critical thinker means you know your biases & how they impact your solutions & choices. Taking ample time to evaluate your mental process before making a choice can help you to act & respond more tangibly.

6. Practice Attentive Listening

Attentive listening is a basic element of efficient critical thinking. Listen sensibly & thoughtfully while colleagues & superiors are talking. Practice responsiveness & focus on understanding their perspective(s). A full understanding of their wants, needs, or expectations can help you react & respond more positively & have a consequent fruitful conversation.

7. Accept The Fact That You Can’t Always Be Right

 Accepting this one can be harder than it sounds. It’s okay to make mistakes sometimes, regardless of our status or identity. As human beings, we all make them.

Most of us can’t accept this universal fact that prevents us from thinking critically. If you are making some mistake & constantly repeating the same action as you have already anticipated that you are always right, then this must be changed for your own sake.

Always revise & reconsider solutions to problems, think about new options & consider your mistakes as new learning opportunities.

8. Talk To Your Seniors Or Mentors

In the workplace, you must have many seniors with lots of experience. If some have taken you under their wings as mentors, that is excellent. Even if you don’t have a mentor right now, talking to your seniors or superiors is an excellent way to Improve Critical Thinking skills.

You can always consider an experienced professional more effective than a library. They can teach you things you will never get in a traditional classroom, workshop, or book. Things they have learned from life can’t be replicated, but you can try to follow their footprints to gain experience like them.

Benefits Of Critical Thinking

People with Critical Thinking Skills are in high demand in the workplace because organizations always seek better, more conscious solutions. More precisely, if you Improve Critical Thinking, you can be benefited immensely in the workplace in the following ways:

  • You will have advanced decision-making power.
  • You will be able to assess an argument’s legitimacy & its possible impact.
  • You can form your own opinions, develop your ethics & confidence on a subject.
  • You can engage on a profound, more intellectual level with your colleagues & supervisors to develop stronger working relationships.
  • You can assess your work to decide on ways to improve quality & productivity.
  • You will be able to develop better understanding & conversation skills.


Q: Is critical thinking only about problem-solving?

A: Problems are an inseparable part of the workplace. Critical thinking can help you to solve a problem, but it is much more than that.

Q: Can critical thinking help me to get promoted?

A: Companies always value people with critical thinking skills. You will surely get promoted if you can prove that along with other skills.

Q: Are there any books that can help me to develop critical thinking?

A: There are many such books. Some of them are:

  • How To Make the World Add Up by Tim Harford.
  • Calling Bullshit by Carl Bergstrom.
  • Critical Thinking: A Beginner’s Guide to Critical Thinking, Better Decision Making, and Problem Solving by Jennifer Wilson.
  • Wait, What? And Life’s Other Essential Questions by James E. Ryan.
  • Think Smarter: Critical Thinking to Improve Problem-Solving and Decision-Making Skills by Michael Kallet.
  • Brain Power: Learn to Improve Your Thinking Skills by Karl Albrecht.
  • The Art of Thinking Clearly by Rolf Dobelli.

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