Analytical Thinking And Problem Solving

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Analytical and creative problem solving abilities rely on different skill sets.

Analytical thinking is also referred to as logical thinking, while creative thinking can also be called "lateral" thinking.

It includes the process of reflecting upon a tangible or intangible item in order to form a sound judgment that reconciles scientific evidence with common sense.

Hence, Critical Thinking is most successful when it effectively blends our natural senses or feelings with our logic and intuition, all applied in a systematic manner.

It involves the following main activities: So, in summary we might say that analytical thinking mainly aims to review the data/information we are presented with (for relevance, patterns, trends etc.), Lateral thinking aims to put data/information into a new or different context (in order to generate alternative answers or solutions) and Critical thinking aims to make an overall or holistic judgment about the data/information which is as free from false premises or bias as much as possible.

Although there is clearly therefore much overlap between all three activities (and they certainly complement one another), each one as a unique focus and where there is time and the needs are significant enough should be deployed in the above order. Jon Warner is a prolific author, management consultant and executive coach with over 25 years experience.Analytical thinking is a thinking process or skill in which an individual has the ability to scrutinize and break down facts and thoughts into their strengths and weaknesses.It involves thinking in thoughtful, discerning ways, in order to solve problems, analyze data, and recall and use information.Critical thinking as a term is often mentioned as a key skill for employees to have at all levels of the organization but many people do not fully understand it or confuse it with the related but different terms of analytical and lateral thinking.In this brief article let’s therefore look at what these latter two terms mean and then end on why critical thinking takes us further.One common creative problem-solving technique is brainstorming, in which numerous ideas are collected before any of them are criticized or discarded.Another important skill in creative problem solving is the ability to suspend judgment and follow a train of thought imaginatively to see where it may lead.Analytical problem solving also calls for the ability to observe trends and tendencies and use what has happened in the past to predict probable outcomes.Creative thinking works better in solving divergent problems, where there may be many or even infinite solutions. Creative thinking is essential in finding solutions to problems with complex or abstract elements, such as, "What's the best way to govern a city? " These kinds of problems have no correct answer that applies in every situation, so generating creative ideas is a must.In other situations, using creativity or lateral thinking (see lateral thinking PDF) will be necessary to come up with ideas for resolving the problem and find fresh approaches.Whatever issue you are faced with, some steps are fundamental: Most problem-solving skills are developed through everyday life and experience.


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