Why Critical Thinking + Problem Solving are Imperative

Critical thinking and problem-solving are crucial for your business. Practically every occupation requires some form of critical thinking, and you can improve your processes by cultivating a workplace of capable critical thinkers and problem solvers. When your employees are empowered and able to solve issues at a moment’s notice, they’ll require less oversight and work more efficiently.

What Are the Steps of Critical Thinking?

Critical thinking is essentially the ability to think rationally and without personal bias. It requires people to take the available information and make reasonable decisions based solely on data and rational thinking rather than emotions. It’s important to care about one’s work, but you don’t want your emotions surrounding your team and business to impact your ability to think critically and make the best decisions.

Effective critical thinking sometimes takes time and work because it requires careful analysis of data to make improvements and decisions. For better results, critical thinking and problem-solving require detailed research and analysis.

Although this may sound time-consuming or costly, investing in making better business decisions will save you time and money in the long run. You’ll be able to uncover inefficiencies within your business and enhance your processes to create more seamless workflows and deliver more value to your customers or clients.

According to Forbes, there are seven steps to critical thinking in the workplace:

  1. Identify the issue: Whether it be a problem, inefficiency, or situation, it’s imperative to recognize the issue at hand to solve it effectively.
  2. Look into the data and opinions: Assess the opinions of those involved with the particular problem or process. Make sure not to let your personal opinions of those involved impact your judgment, and collect all necessary data.
  3. Evaluation: Evaluate the data and/or opinions of your employees as objectively as possible to make rational conclusions.
  4. Recognize significance in the data or opinions: It’s more important to be able to prioritize the importance of different opinions and data points. For example, you may value the opinion of your accountant rather than your HR representative on issues regarding bookkeeping.
  5. Keep an open mind and listen to others’ points of view: Don’t allow your personal biases to hinder your ability to make rational decisions. You should also involve your team when it comes to making improvements and problem-solving so that you can make the best decisions.
  6. Take the necessary time to come to a conclusion: After gathering information, it’s important to take enough time to make the best possible decision. Make sure to keep your team updated about the timeline of your final decision.
  7. Communicate the solution: After making your decision, make sure you inform your team to prevent future confusion.

Critical Thinking in the Workplace

Strong critical thinking and problem-solving skills are important for managers and employees in the workplace. People can fix problems and improve processes in their fields of influence, ultimately enhancing your business.

When you take the time to create an atmosphere of critical thinking and problem-solving, your employees become even more valuable to your business. They can present different solutions to problems, and share their unique perspectives and innovations that can improve your processes. Encouraging your employees to practice critical thinking and problem solving will also create a better work environment more conducive to effective communication.

Insisting that your employees use critical thinking is also beneficial to their careers and other facets of their lives. Using critical thinking every day during (and outside of) work will improve every aspect of their lives, including relationships, goal-setting, decisions with their careers, and financial planning.

Practicing critical thinking in management is also highly important for your business. When management utilizes critical thinking, they can anticipate problems, delegate tasks more effectively, reduce expenses, streamline processes, and find qualified applicants with highly effective critical thinking and problem-solving skills.

How to Improve Your Problem Solving + Critical Thinking

You can improve your team’s critical thinking skills by adopting certain exercises when faced with a problem. Regular practice of these exercises will ultimately enhance your business and empower you and your employees.

You and your team can approach problems differently by thinking through them. When you approach an obstacle from the same line of thinking repeatedly, you can become frustrated and fail to come up with reasonable solutions. By approaching a problem from the reverse angle, you may obtain a fresh perspective.

Next, you can explain the problem in the simplest way possible. Act as if you’re explaining the issue to a six-year-old. Having the ability to explain a problem in the simplest way possible will force you to gain a better understanding of the problem, and you can find a more creative, straightforward solution as a result.

Finally, you can express problems in different ways to enhance your ability to think critically and problem-solve. For example, if you’re in a meeting with your employees and you’ve been approaching a problem through verbal communication, it may be time to incorporate a new way of approaching the problem. Consider creating visual aids, such as diagrams, bulletin boards, PowerPoint, etc. to approach your problems differently.

Learn More

Here at Parker Technology, we pride ourselves on cultivating an atmosphere of problem-solving and critical thinking so that our customer service representatives can assist your parking customers effectively. That way, we can offer a seamless parking solution that gets your customers back on the road faster, improving their experience and overall satisfaction. Drop us a note if you’re ready to learn more.