How to think critically 5 powerful techniques

Critical thinking is the art of filtering through information to reach an unbiased, logical decision that guides better thought and action. It can be learned through powerful techniques listed in this…

How to think critically 5 powerful techniques

How to think critically 5 powerful techniques

Did you know that 75% of the population suffers from glossophobia? That scary sounding word is one of the most common phobia’s in the world, fear of public speaking.

I’ll bet even as you are reading this, you are getting nervous thinking about giving a speech.

I have got good news for you. In this article, I will share with you a step by step method on how to memorize a speech the smart way. Once you have this method down, your confidence in yourself to deliver a successful speech will increase substantially. Read on to feel well prepared the next time you have to memorize and deliver a speech.

Common Mistakes of Memorizing a Speech

Before we get to the actual process of how to memorize a speech the smart way, let’s look at the two most common mistakes many of us tend to make while preparing for a speech.

Complete Memorization

In an attempt to ensure they remember every detail, many people aim to completely memorize their speech. They practice it over and over until they have every single word burned into their brain.

In many ways, this is understandable because most of us are naturally frightened of having to give a speech. When the time comes, we want to be completely and totally prepared and not make any mistakes.

While this makes a lot of sense, it also comes with its own negative side. The downside to having your speech memorized word for word is that you sound like a robot when delivering the speech. You become so focused on remembering every single part that you lose the ability to inflect your speech to varying degrees, and free form the talk a bit when the situation warrants.

Lack of Preparation

The other side of the coin to complete memorization is people who don’t prepare enough. Because they don’t want to come off sounding like a robot, they decide they will mostly “wing it”.

Sometimes they will write a few main points down on a piece of paper to remind themselves. They figure once they get going, the details will somehow fill themselves in under the big talking points while they are doing the talking.

The problem is that unless this is a topic you know inside and out and have spoken on it many times, you’ll wind up missing key points. It’s almost a given that as soon as you are done with your speech, you’ll remember many things you should have brought up while talking.

There’s a good balance to be had between over and under preparing. Let’s now look at how to memorize a speech the smart way.

Our modern education system doesn’t aim to develop one’s critical thinking skills, but quite the opposite. These science-backed strategies will help you enhance yours.

Critical thinking (CT) involves an objective analysis of a situation by way of collecting information from sources that are available to you and then making an evaluation of both the intangible and tangible aspects with a keen eye on the effects of each of the actions taken.

The Foundation of Critical Thinking defines it as a process of conceptualization, analysis, synthesis and assessing ideas gathered by way of experience, reasoning, observation and communication as a pathway to belief and action.

In times of information overload that we live in, it is particularly important to have well-developed critical thinking skills.

Enhancing Your Critical Thinking Skills

There are active ways through which critical thinking skills can be enhanced and a lot of studies have proved it. In an effort to establish this, Walker (2003) in her study about “active learning strategies to promote Critical thinking”[1] found out school debates and discussions enhanced CT amongst students.

As the discussions went on, there was insight coming from the other side of the debates and discussions that became useful in further enlightening students’ thought processes. This became a good foundation to build upon in their line of thoughts!

In a different study conducted by Bernstein[2], students were confronted with reliable yet antagonistic arguments in what was believed to be a negotiation model for teaching critical thinking. This required students to deal with the tension existing between arguments that were taken to be a component that drives CT.

Such controversy existing in psychology as animal rights was a part of the discussions made. At the end of the day, students could comfortably tackle either side of the divide between the issues raised hence a huge development towards critical thinking skills.

So, how can you enhance your critical thinking skills? There probably are quite a number of ways but here are eight that you could use in your day-to-day engagements:

1. Ask fundamental questions

The world is sophisticated at times. However, its complex nature does not always need sophisticated answers. When you complicate the explanation, the original basic questions get lost. Therefore, it is important to go back to the fundamental questions that were asked in the first place.

Start with what you know and how you know it. What are you trying to establish, critique or demonstrate? Take a simple approach of asking basic questions to guide you in demystifying the complex situation on your way!

2. Interrogate Basic Assumptions

If there are any assumptions made, question them lest you make a fool of yourself. There could be wrong assumptions and if you build your thinking on such, you will not get far with it.

The greatest innovators of all time such as Isaac Newton, Albert Einstein, and Yitang Zhang among others took time to see whether the general assumptions made could have been wrong.

For every question that needs an answer or a problem that needs a solution, question your assumptions and carefully assess your beliefs concerning what is possible, prudent or suitable.

3. Watch Your Mental Processes

Your chain of thoughts is really amazing and if you are not careful, the speed at which they occur can be a disadvantage when you are endeavoring to think critically.

The human brain usually uses mental shortcuts, commonly known as heuristics in explaining what is happening in our surrounding. This is beneficial when in a fright mode but not good when choosing the candidate to vote for.

Therefore, it is important to be alert concerning your cognitive biases and individual prejudices. Most importantly, check at how they influence your apparently “objective” solutions and decisions.

Everyone has these biases in their thinking. Your though becomes critical if you are aware of them.

4. Reverse Things

A useful way of unblocking your mind and to help you think straight is by reversing things. While it could be obvious that X is the main cause of Y, try asking yourself what if Y was the cause of X?

You may have heard about the problem of the chicken and the egg. It appears obvious that the chicken came first. But still, you may want to ask where the chicken came from. This will reverse your thinking to believe that the egg came first. This will jog your mind a bit and cause it to think critically.

5. Assess Evidence

In your endeavors to solve an issue, consider other efforts that have been put in place in a similar scenario. All the same, evaluate the source well before reaching any conclusion. Should you find some evidence to the issue, look at how it was gathered, the reason and by whom?

For instance, don’t just take a study showing the health benefits of a sugary cereal as the truth. Don’t fall for its appealing nature.

You may be surprised to find out that the research was financed by the company that produces the product in question! If you assess evidence, you will at times find a conflict of interest to question.

6. What do you think yourself?

It is not wise to entirely rely on research done by others. You need to also think on your own. This turns out to be a powerful tool at times.

The famous equation E=mc 2 was practically a conclusion made from Einstein’s pure thought. C.P. Snow realized that Einstein’s argument did not overly rely on other people’s opinions.

Well, don’t be overconfident, but it is sometimes good to take time to think through by yourself.

7. Understand Thinking Critically is a Process

No one is a critical thinker in every situation. In their 1987 presentation at the National Council for Excellence in Critical Thinking, Michael Scriven and Richard Paul [3] stated that CT is never universal in any person and that all people are subject to episodes of irrational thought.

It is unlikely that you will be able to think critically all the time. Therefore, you must understand that it will only be needed when making vital decisions or solving complex situations.

8. Don’t settle for Quick Solutions

When problems show up, don’t settle for a quick solution. Carefully analyze the issue and take time to look at all possible solutions. Come up with a checklist to trigger your thoughts on lasting possibilities and consequences of your action.

Making use of these ways can greatly enhance your critical thinking skills. Most important to note is that CT is a process and you may not apply it all the time. It is okay to not think critically in some scenarios as would require so.

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History of Critical Thinking

“The intellectual roots of critical thinking are as ancient as its etymology, traceable, ultimately, to the teaching practice and vision of Socrates 2,500 years ago who discovered by a method of probing questioning that people could not rationally justify their confident claims to knowledge. Confused meanings, inadequate evidence, or self-contradictory beliefs often lurked beneath smooth but largely empty rhetoric.”

“He [Socrates] established the importance of seeking evidence, closely examining reasoning and assumptions, analyzing basic concepts, and tracing out implications not only of what is said but of what is done as well. His method of questioning is now known as “Socratic Questioning” and is the best known critical thinking teaching strategy. In his mode of questioning, Socrates highlighted the need in thinking for clarity and logical consistency.”

More on critical thinking through the ages is available here.

Eight Dimensions of Critical Thinking
The Foundation for Critical Thinking, one of the leading schools of thought on modern-day critical thinking, highlights eight dimensions of critical thinking: Purpose, Question, Information, Interpretation, Concept, Assumptions, Implications, Perspectives.

1. The element of Purpose provokes us to examine the intent of a specific claim or statement.2. This second element of critical thinking, Question, prompts us to clearly identify the problem or issue at the core of any given line of reasoning. Without a clear and specific question, it may be difficult to clearly define issues or challenges.3. The Information element of critical thinking guides us to consider the specific pieces of evidence and/or data points presented. It’s important to note that data points do not always refer to numbers; data can be information in the form of testimony or an interview.4. The fourth element, Interpretation, encourages us to reflect on the underlying inferences we are drawing between the information and claims we encounter during our daily lives. Are we linking ideas logically or are there flaws to our connections? How is the information or data being translated into real life?5. The Concept element urges us to investigate the validity of the laws, theories and the accepted principles on which claims and arguments are based.6. When assessing claims or information, the Assumption element of critical thinking encourages us to explore what the claim or information may be taking for granted. What are we missing?7. The Implications element of critical thinking prompts us to deeply consider the consequences of statements and claims to determine the potential downstream effects.8. The last and final element of critical thinking, Point of View, ensures that we reflect upon the source and perspective of claims presented during everyday life. Point of View is especially important since it can help identify limitations or bias. More information is available about the eight elements of critical thinking here.

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eBook includes PDF, ePub and Kindle version

We have made it easy for you to find a PDF Ebooks without any digging. And by having access to our ebooks online or by storing it on your computer, you have convenient answers with Think Critically 2013 . To get started finding Think Critically 2013 , you are right to find our website which has a comprehensive collection of manuals listed.
Our library is the biggest of these that have literally hundreds of thousands of different products represented.

Finally I get this ebook, thanks for all these Think Critically 2013 I can get now!

cooool I am so happy xD

I did not think that this would work, my best friend showed me this website, and it does! I get my most wanted eBook

wtf this great ebook for free?!

My friends are so mad that they do not know how I have all the high quality ebook which they do not!

It’s very easy to get quality ebooks 😉

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“Critical Thinking” may sound like an obnoxious buzzword from liberal arts schools, but it’s actually a useful skill. Critical thinking just means absorbing important information and using that to form a decision or opinion of your own—rather than just spouting off what you hear others say. This doesn’t always come naturally to us, but luckily, it’s something you can train yourself to do better.

Train Yourself to Pay Attention to the Right Details

One of the most important parts of thinking critically is learning what details matter. We’re exposed to so much information and so many different opinions every day that it’s really easy to get lost in the details. Subsequently, we need to train ourselves to learn which details matter and which don’t. Start by listening to your gut. If something doesn’t sound true, that’s your first warning sign. From there, you can start looking for other holes in an argument. Here are just a few ways to do that:

  • Think about who benefits from a statement: When you read about news or an opinion, it’s good to think about who, if anyone, benefits from the statement being made. If someone’s making an argument, there’s a good chance they benefit from it for some reason. As Business Insider points out , that’s not always a bad thing—sometimes a person’s motivations can make their opinion more valid—but it’s good to think about who might gain from an idea.
  • Question the source: With the internet, sources aren’t always immediately visible, so if something sounds off about a statement, track down where it came from initially before you form an opinion on it.
  • Look for obvious statements: A common trick in debates, reviews, and even personal essays is to couch a critical argument inside a series of obviously true statements. These sort of non sequiturs are easy to miss because by the time they come along you’ve already started agreeing with a statement. Here’s an extreme example: “So, now we know the sky is blue, that grass is green, that clouds are white, and that Apple makes the best computers.”

Arguments are misleading for a ton of reasons, and events like a presidential debate or science debate are a great place to train yourself to pay attention to particular details. The more you pay attention to these kinds of details the more automatic your critical thinking will become.

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How to think critically 5 powerful techniques

As leaders, it is our job to get the very best out of our workforce. We focus on how best to motivate, inspire and create an environment in which employees are satisfied, engaged and productive. This leads us to deliver an excellent customer/client experience.

But all in all, the effort we put into growing our workforce, we often forget the one person who is in constant need of development: ourselves. In particular, we neglect the soft skills that are vital to becoming the best professional possible — one of them being critical thinking.

When you’re able to critically think, it opens the door for employee engagement, as you become the go-to person for assistance with issues, challenges and problems. In turn, you teach your workforce how to critically think and problem solve.

Let’s take a look at the key steps in developing critical thinking skills.

What Is Critical Thinking?

One of my favorite definitions of critical thinking comes from Edward Glaser. He said, “The ability to think critically, as conceived in this volume, involves three things:

1. An attitude of being disposed to consider in a thoughtful way the problems and subjects that come within the range of one’s experiences

2. Knowledge of the methods of logical inquiry and reasoning

3. Some skill in applying those methods.”

In short, the ability to think critically is the art of analyzing and evaluating data for a practical approach to understanding the data, then determining what to believe and how to act.

The three characteristics of critical thinking include:

Being quick and decisive: One of the most admirable leadership qualities the ability to be quick and decisive with decisions. There are times where an answer just needs to be given and given right now. But that doesn’t mean you should make a decision just to make one. Sometimes, quick decisions can fall flat. I know some of mine have.

• Being resourceful and creative: Over the years, members of my workforce have come to me with challenges and have needed some creativity and resourcefulness. As they spell out the situation, you listen to the issue, analyze their dilemma and guide them the best way possible. Thinking outside the box and sharing how to get there is a hallmark of a great leader.

• Being systematic and organized: Martin Gabel is quoted as saying, “Don’t just do something, stand there.” Sometimes, taking a minute to be systematic and follow an organized approach makes all the difference. This is where critical thinking meets problem solving. Define the problem, come up with a list of solutions, then select the best answer, implement it, create an evaluation tool and fine-tune as needed.

Components Of Critical Thinking

Now that you know the what and why of becoming a critical thinker, let’s focus on the how best to develop this skill.

1. Identify the problem or situation, then define what influenced this to occur in the first place.

2. Investigate the opinions and arguments of the individuals involved in this process. Any time you have differences of opinions, it is vital that you research independently, so as not to be influenced by a specific bias.

3. Evaluate information factually. Recognizing predispositions of those involved is a challenging task at times. It is your responsibility to weigh the information from all sources and come to your own conclusions.

4. Establish significance. Figure out what information is most important for you to consider in the current situation. Sometimes, you just have to remove data points that have no relevance.

5. Be open-minded and consider all points of view. This is a good time to pull the team into finding the best solution. This point will allow you to develop the critical-thinking skills of those you lead.

6. Take time to reflect once you have gathered all the information. In order to be decisive and make decisions quickly, you need to take time to unwrap all the information and set a plan of attack. If you are taking time to think about the best solution, keep your workforce and leaders apprised of your process and timeline.

7. Communicate your findings and results. This is a crucial yet often overlooked component. Failing to do so can cause much confusion in the organization.

Developing your critical-thinking skills is fundamental to your leadership success. As you set off to develop these abilities, it will require a clear, sometimes difficult evaluation of your current level of critical thinking. From there you can determine the best way to polish and strengthen your current skill set and establish a plan for your future growth.

The oldest, and still the most powerful, teaching tactic for fostering critical thinking is Socratic teaching. In Socratic teaching we focus on giving students questions, not answers. We model an inquiring, probing mind by continually probing into the subject with questions. Fortunately, the abilities we gain by focusing on the elements of reasoning in a disciplined and self-assessing way, and the logical relationships that result from such disciplined thought, prepare us for Socratic questioning.

Thankfully, there is a predictable set of relationships that hold for all subjects and disciplines. This is given in the general logic of reasoning, since every subject has been developed by those who had.

To read the full article, join the Center for Critical Thinking Community Online; you will find this article in the Libraries there.

The Center for Critical Thinking Community Online is the world’s leading online community dedicated to teaching and advancing critical thinking. Featuring the world’s largest library of critical thinking articles, videos, and books, as well as learning activities, study groups, and a social media component, this interactive learning platform is essential to anyone dedicated to developing as an effective reasoner in the classroom, in the professions, in business and government, and throughout personal life.

Join the community and learn explicit tools of critical thinking.

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The Importance of Developing Strategic Thinking Skills

Entrepreneurs, managers, and business owners alike constantly need to make on-the-spot decisions.

It’s important that those decisions are made in a rational, level-headed state of mind, weighing all the options fairly. Carefully-honed strategic thinking skills are imperative to the profitability, growth, and general success of a business. Taking the time to hone those skills is time well spent. At CMOE we offer experiential training to improve strategic thinking skills in business to ensure your company will stand tall in today’s ever-changing business world.

Someone who demonstrates how to think strategically is very open-minded and able to question and evaluate information. Critical thinking improves comprehension, challenges generally-accepted systems of thought, opening the way for innovation. Individuals with these qualities are valuable assets and sought-after by forward-thinking employers.

At the World Economic Forum Meeting on January 20, 2016, critical thinking is ranked number 2 in the top 10 skills needed to thrive in today’s workforce. Developing the skill of critical thinking is important not only for personal success but society as a whole. The world’s greatest minds and innovators were critical thinkers who weren’t afraid to challenge their own thoughts and try new ideas.

How To Improve Strategic Thinking Skills:

Below are 5 tactics that can help guide your effort of improving your strategic thinking process is now. At CMOE we offer comprehensive team training and these tips that can help prepare your critical thinking skills at the individual level. Begin practicing these techniques now to prepare you for CMOE’s Strategic Thinking Workshop Solutions.

1. Make Time For Progress

CMOE has found that one of the biggest challenges to progress with any organization is being so overwhelmed with mundane business tasks that being able to focus on strategic direction is derailed. Taking care of daily problems is important, but you need to find time to focus on the future too if progress is to occur. How do you find the time, energy, and discipline to break away from daily activities?

  • First, understand it is time well-spent. You are investing in the lasting progress of the organization.
  • Prioritize tasks, and determine which can be temporarily put on hold.
  • Introspectively discover any anxiety that may be holding you back personally.

2. Be Aware of Your Own Biases

An important part of being a rational critical thinker is being self-aware enough to monitor and question your own thoughts. What does it mean to think more strategically? Being in charge of your own mind. Acknowledging that your thoughts or ideas could be flawed does not impinge your own credibility, it does quite the opposite. You are open to verifying facts and thinking outside the box to create new ideas.

  • What are my current circumstances?
  • Is my perspective realistic?
  • What other points did I not consider that I should have?
  • What does my point of view imply?

3. Improve Listening Skills

A critical thinker accepts that their ideas may be flawed and therefore listens to others intently to learn more from others’ perspectives. Every team member is valuable and should be heard. Developing keen listening skills will encourage others to voice their opinions and foster an atmosphere where everyone contributes strategically as a cohesive unit. These tips will help you make the most out of listening opportunities.

  • Have an open mind free of biases
  • Be open to feedback from others
  • Listen attentively with a desire to learn a new perspective
  • Evaluate what was heard and identify the most valuable point(s) learned

4. Hone Questioning Skills

Thinking critically requires you to question everything. Not from a cynical point of view, but in a way that constructively allows you to see ideas objectively. Just because a system of thinking or idea is commonly accepted as the standard doesn’t mean it shouldn’t be questioned. Taking the time to question something opens the door for improvement.

Here are a few examples of strategic thinking questions to ask in the process of critical evaluation:

  • Is the idea rational?
  • Is the source credible? Was the information from a trusted expert, or was it hearsay?
  • What are the assumptions and biases with each option?
  • Identify proof that exists to support the theory

5. Understand the Consequences

Every choice has consequences. After questioning different sources and points of view, think through the repercussions of each option. This step is important in final decision-making, and with practice, it will become easier. Identifying the effects of different scenarios rationally is important to final decision-making. Ask these questions to gauge what outcome will align best with the vision of your organization.

  • What are the pros and cons of each?
  • What does each imply?
  • Which will help meet our goals best?
  • Is there an option that will open long-term opportunities?

The ability to overcome one’s own egocentrism for the purpose of open-mindedly seeking new perspectives for the most credible solution leads to creativity, progress, and innovation. When those in leadership positions are experienced critical thinkers, meetings become more productive, and business goals are met faster. Fostering an environment where all perspectives are valued, and encouraging all employees to think critically will pave the way for future success.

Learning critical, important strategic thinking skills is valuable for anyone. Everyone has the potential to influence future progress. Discover how CMOE can improve strategic thinking skills. Investing in training initiatives today will cultivate high-performance productivity tomorrow.