Critical thinking is important. It helps your team make better decisions and to rationally apply information. While there are many benefits of critical thinking, the four we are going to look at are:
- Being more persuasive
- Better communication
- Better problem solving
- Increased emotional intelligence
Being More Persuasive
Persuasiveness is the characteristic of being able to influence others. We normally think of salespersons and politicians when we hear the word persuasiveness. However, all managers or professionals use persuasiveness on a daily basis. Anytime, we want to have others accept our ideas, we do so through the power of persuasion. How will critical thinking make your team members more persuasive? It is because critical thinking is a deliberate or thoughtful process, and the more deliberate they are, the better they will be in expressing their assumptions or ideas and persuading others.
Critical thinking improves communication for some of the same reasons that it improves persuasiveness. Many of the same factors used to improve persuasiveness, will also make the team members better communicators in general. For instance, the use of analogies and metaphors are a great persuasion and general communication technique. In addition to helping the team using language more persuasively; critical thinking also helps them use language with more clarity.
Better Problem Solving
Critical thinking and problem solving are closely related and are almost intertwined. Sometimes we say that to solve logic problems we must use our critical thinking skills. In fact, logic, critical thinking, and problem solving, use some of the same cognitive processes. Critical thinkers use their problem solving skills and not just their intuition to make decisions or draw conclusions.
Increased Emotional Intelligence
What is emotional intelligence and how does critical thinking help your team members increase their emotional intelligence? Emotional intelligence is identified as the ability to assess and control the emotions of oneself, others, and even groups. Emotional intelligence is being “heart smart” as opposed to “book smart.” Critical thinking helps increase emotional intelligence because one of the characteristics of a critical thinker is self-awareness. Also, critical thinkers know how and when to use their emotions, such as empathy, in making decisions. The more a team member uses his or her critical thinking skills the better adept they should become at identifying, understanding, and managing their emotions. Emotional intelligence in general consists of four abilities:
- Social awareness
- Relationship management
Critical thinking will help your team be more persuasive because it is a deliberate process, and the more deliberate they are in their thinking, the better your team will be at expressing their ideas and persuading others. Many of the factors in critical thinking that will make your team members more persuasive will also make them better communicators as it will help them use language with more clarity. Critical thinking is intertwined with problem solving as it uses the same cognitive processes. Because self-awareness is one of the characteristics of critical thinkers, critical thinking will also lead to an increase in the emotional intelligence of your team members.