No one ever said critical thinking is easy. It takes work. Hard work.
It takes a conscious effort to improve the way you naturally think.
But what is the toughest step in critical thinking?
Is it recognizing assumptions? What about evaluating the credibility of a source or relevance of an argument? And let’s not forget about considering alternatives and removing emotional bias. None of those are small feats.
It’s the most difficult because it is the very first step, and it sets the tone for the rest of the critical thinking process. It’s also the most difficult step because in our daily lives we are either just going through the motions of our usual routines OR we are in a constant state of information overload and just trying to survive the chaos.
Either way, we don’t take time to Stop and Think things like:
“Is this the best way to accomplish my goals?”
“Wait, what is my goal?!”
“Can I approach this from a different perspective?”
“Is what I believe to be true actually a fact?”
“What is the real problem here?”
“Do I have to make this decision right now or can it wait until I can gather more info?”
By stopping, even for 5 seconds, and asking yourselves theses simple questions, you open yourself up to the possibility of more effective thinking.
Take 5 seconds today to STOP and THINK before acting. Let us know if it made a difference in your day.
Learn more about the RED Model of Critical Thinking here.
Editor’s Note: Breanne Harris is the Solutions Architect for Pearson TalentLens. She works with customers to design selection and development plans that incorporate critical thinking assessments and training. She has a Master’s degree in Organizational Psychology and has experience in recruiting, training, and HR consulting. Connect with her on LinkedIn and Twitter for more of her thoughts.