Decisions need some deliberation and critical thinking at work. You can’t one day just give knee-jerk reactions. Think about this: How many times have you responded only to realise it was better to not have spoken right away? Well, there could be evidence lying around you and the only thing you have to do is consciously pick cues and zip your mouth and let your mind do the thinking. When you say or work without giving a serious thought you end up saying stuff which could be irrelevant, confusing, frivolous or biased and emotional. What you need is hold the reigns of your mind in your hand and pause when the need arises.
Critical thinking helps you separate facts from fiction or opinions; you withhold personal biases from playing in your mind. That way you are more self-aware and think perceptively. Isn’t that a sensible thing to be doing than jumping to conclusion?
Here are some apparent and positive effects of encouraging critical thinking at work.
Helps build a robust team
What makes a good team? Well, not talent or expertise in their respective fields, alone. For a team to function effectively and efficiently and for each member to give their best, they need to know how to exercise reason. Members who don’t understand the importance of reason often lack an in-depth approach needed to see beyond the obvious. But, when you do have critical thinkers in a team, there’s a flow of ideas that encourage discussions instead of arguments. The more the discussions, the better their performance since they bring their perspectives and science behind their thoughts.
Better at decision making
When you have someone who likes to cross-examine situations, they are able to present a more logical argument. For them it is easy to sift through all the noise and drama and manage to identify the real problem and also find a solution(s). They also leave behind the emotional baggage, experiences and prejudices so that none of it interferes when they’re addressing demanding issues. These critical thinkers don’t give into the temptation to get done with work. Their prime concern is taking a quality decision and doing nothing in a hurry.
Positively affects work culture
It is important to provide an environment where people are unafraid to reason or question. Why? Because critical thinkers tend to be open-minded, confident and display a commendable ability to overlook emotions when making decisions. Structured thinking saves everyone the time and other risks involved when wrong decisions are made. Besides, as was the point: when you give employees such an environment it impacts the way not just individuals perform but also the team and the organization at a macro level. They are more analytical and consider it wrong to be blinded by just one idea.
Since critical thinking requires tossing and turning, some very creative ideas float the room or in a critical thinker’s mind. In fact, creativity finds space in a critical mind because of their open-mindedness and flexibility. And, if you notice the two are quite related and dependent at the same time. It gives birth to novel solutions/ideas validated by rational faculty. No wonder creative thinking fosters in a setup where critical thinking is appreciated and encouraged.
If you are thinking of finding innovative solutions, but find none then you probably need to give yourself a nudge. Train yourself to analyse because this kind of critical thinking at work will help you avoid making random decisions.