Critical Thinking  - the New Mantra for Success

The proliferation of fake news and the kind of videos and posts that become viral on social media nowadays argue very strongly in favour of critical thinking. In layman terms, critical thinking involves assessing the information available to arrive at a logical conclusion. This in turn would dictate the appropriate future course of action.

Critical thinking has become a highly valued skill in the workplace today.  Though there is no concrete definition, there are a few hallmarks that make up critical thinking like logic (the foundation of critical thinking, logic requires you to examine all premises before drawing conclusions), open-mindedness (essential to shelve your established thinking and stay open to new ideas), curiosity (another word is interest, a vital aspect to be able to think critically), adaptation (readiness to adapt ensures flexibility and in turn shifting the workplace paradigm) and collaboration (key to finding different perspectives and hence the best ideas). 

Once critical thinking becomes the norm in the workplace, it enables the employee to think strategically in order to solve problems that arise and make effective decisions. It also improves his planning and organization skills. Candidates often add “critical thinking” to their list of marketable skills and strengths.  As an employer, how do you test this vital aspect of a candidate’s resume?

Watson-Glaser II is the leading critical thinking test used to assess and develop decision-making skills and judgment.  This test can be used for selection, development, high-potential programs and succession planning.  Watson-Glaser scores are based on Pearson’s RED critical thinking model:

  • Recognize Assumptions: Separate fact from opinion.
  • Evaluate Arguments: Impartially evaluate arguments and suspend judgment.
  • Draw Conclusions: Decide your course of action

As an employer, you can use Watson-Glaser to measure your employee’s ability to analyse, interpret and draw logical conclusions from written information. In actual terms, the test can be used to:

  1. Predict performance when faced with situations that require a candidate to think under pressure and analyse quickly and effectively.
  2. Assess decision-making prowess and the readiness to take on more challenging roles.
  3. Predict practical intelligence at work.
  4. Identify high potential individuals and hidden talent to aid in succession planning.

Critical thinking forces an employee to look at a problem and weigh all possible solutions before coming up with a final answer. This assists in workplace innovation and ensures that your team come up with a range of solutions.  A critical thinker notices problems and flaws and works to find creative ways to solve them. The ability to assess a product or a piece of information for correctness, functionality and other qualities is crucial to maintaining a high level of standards for your company. Without critical thinkers, the workplace will suffer from mediocrity.

These days with artificial intelligence and other new technologies taking over, organisations are looking at employees with added value and critical thinking tops the list!