Improving critical thinking for better judgement and decision making

Improving critical thinking for better judgement and decision making

Whether it's in a professional or personal context, you cannot deny the importance of good decision making. Critical thinking helps you gather information, analyse it through logic, creativity, and reasoning to reach a conclusive, unbiased decision.

Here are a few tips on how you can improve critical thinking for better judgement and decision making.

Become more self-aware

Self-awareness is the ability to observe and accurately identify your feelings, desires, biases, ethics, and other beliefs. The benefits of becoming more self-aware extend to all aspects of your life, including your career and relationships. It helps you develop better self-esteem, facilitates better decision-making, and predicts self-development, acceptance, and proactivity.

Understand your thought process

Human thought is incredible, but the automation with which it happens can be a disadvantage when we are trying to think critically. Our brains use mental shortcuts based on previous experiences with similar problems to explain what is happening around us, and this forms our cognitive biases and personal prejudices. Therefore, to improve critical thinking and make better decisions, you must recognise your own prejudices and how they influence your choices. Understanding how you listen, interpret and react to information will help you make better decisions moving forward.

Practice active listening

Active listening is a fundamental element of effective critical thinking. It allows you to organise what you hear, understand its context and relevance, recognise unstated assumptions, and make logical connections between ideas so that you can make factual and unbiased decisions. Active listening is especially important in the workplace because it allows leaders to practice empathy towards their employees and better understand what they want and need.

Consider the consequences of your options

Every decision you make has consequences for yourself and others involved in the problem. Therefore, when making decisions, you must weigh the possible consequences that may arise from each option and only go for the one with the most benefits. A great way to do this is by writing a pros and cons list. This will help you think of every possible positive or negative outcome.