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The first step is to look for the logic in an opponent’s argument.Focus on the critical thinking skills you apply to your own decisions and examine their motivations, evidence and reasoning.
You might want to keep a journal of these self-evaluations to help you spot patterns in your thinking and decision making.
Most people evaluate issues or disagreements with the default view that they themselves are correct.
Taking arguments personally and feeling attacked by someone else’s opinion can cloud your judgement.
Try to view their statements as an attempt to solve a problem or improve conditions, and not a strike against your self-worth.
When facing a difficult decision, everyone has heard the advice to ‘sleep on it’. One of the main pillars of critical thinking is to remove emotion from the equation.
If you’ve just had an argument with a colleague, you’ve been reprimanded by your boss for a mistake or even if you’ve just had an all-around bad day at work, it’s best to hold off on important decisions until you feel calmer and more rational.
If you want to develop your critical thinking, it’s time to be that questioning person.
When someone shares an idea or judgement, don’t just accept it and move on to the next thing.
Being a more critical thinker requires us to contemplate the possibility that we may be wrong or are acting in our own self-interest rather than the good of others or of the company we work for.
Two prominent authors and instructors in the field of critical thinking development, Richard Paul and Linda Elder, say that feelings of irritation and resentment during the workday can actually be signs of egocentric thinking.