10 Ways to Improve Your Critical Thinking

10 Ways to Improve Your Critical Thinking

Slow DownSlow Down

You can never engage in critical thinking if you’re in a rush. Wait until moments when you can really invest time into mental processes and make measured decisions.

Don't JudgeDon’t Judge

All ideas have merit. Dismissing an outlook narrows your world view.

Play DumbPlay Dumb

To abandon preconceived biases, go into any critical-thinking opportunity by clearing your mind and pretending you know nothing.

Convey NeutralityConvey Neutrality

Even if you have come to a conclusion on a tech topic, don’t ask leading questions which betray your perspective in discussing it. In the process, you’ll open the door to different views which could challenge—or confirm—yours.

Be PatientBe Patient

Don’t interrupt anyone in a critical-thinking exchange. Use the power of silence to encourage colleagues to share the entire range of their insights.

Understand the Source of FactsUnderstand the Source of Facts

Don’t just accept statements such as “best practices dictate …” and “the facts are clear ….” Ask and learn where the best practices and facts came from, and if those sources are credible.

Always Ask Always Ask “Why?” and “How?”

As in “Why have we set these objectives?” and “How do we know this solution is proven?”

Drive to the Root Cause of MistakesDrive to the Root Cause of Mistakes

It’s only when you understand the entire background of an error that you can begin to correct it and incorporate processes so it doesn’t occur again.

Build a Powerful PremiseBuild a Powerful Premise

The stronger your premise—as supported by authoritative, carefully vetted facts, observations, metrics, etc.—the more confident you can be about the conclusion and the resulting outcomes.

Determine the Essence of GoalsDetermine the Essence of Goals

When employees say they want to improve an aspect of their performance (like productivity), ask them to define it. This way, the employee will need to fully explore what this improvement really means.

CIO Insight Staff
CIO Insight Staff
CIO Insight offers thought leadership and best practices in the IT security and management industry while providing expert recommendations on software solutions for IT leaders. It is the trusted resource for security professionals who need network monitoring technology and solutions to maintain regulatory compliance for their teams and organizations.

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