Critical Thinking for Problem Solving

When you use critical thinking techniques to solve problems in your personal or business life, you can be much surer of a satisfying outcome. 

Critical thinking helps you to make sense of and discard biases and beliefs and statements that are hurled at us through media.

Here are some ways that you can use critical thinking techniques to solve problems in your life:

  • Identify the Problem – Before you solve a situation or problem, you must first identify it. This means you’ll carefully evaluate every portion and how it’s different from how your goals. Critical thinking is thinking before you leap to a conclusion about a situation.
  • Analyse – After you identify the problem, you can analyse it by learning as much about it as possible. Look beyond what’s presented as facts in the situation and seek other perspectives on the matter. Be open-minded as you analyse the problem so that you can discuss it or think about it logically.
  • Brainstorm Solutions – Think about all implications of the problem and the possibilities of the outcome. What will be the impact of certain solutions and what research can you perform that will offer accurate answers? Are there other, similar problems that you’ve solved satisfactorily? 
  • Consider Solutions – Carefully consider the implications of each solution – the advantages and disadvantages. Also, think about the process you would go through to solve the problem if you use one solution over another. What will be the immediate and long-term impact of your decision?
  • Choose a Solution – Before definitely choosing the solution to a situation or problem, you must first determine how suited it is to your goals, how much risk you’ll have to take and how practical your decision will be.

As you go through using critical thinking to solve a problem, use techniques such as writing what you’re thinking or bounce it off another person. Be sure you’re making the right decision. “Sleep on it” is good advice when you’re striving to problem solve.

Be creative in the critical thinking process. If you run across a new idea or thought you haven’t before considered, don’t dismiss it without gathering evidence and weighing the alternative against others.

Critical thinking will help you design a plan of action based on knowledge and long-term analysing rather than on a quick decision that could be detrimental to your short and long-term goals.

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