Is a Lack of Critical Thinking Skills Stagnating Your Career as a Manager?

February 17, 2023

A lot goes into making great decisions as a manager, from taking in the concerns of all team members to understanding everything happening in the surrounding environment. Effective thought processes adopted by managers make these tasks easier for managers. Nonetheless, recognizing their importance and developing these skills is challenging if we keep our minds in the box. In today’s edition of The Top newsletter, we will discover the secret to letting our minds run free until the goal – Critical Thinking.

#Criticalthinking is the ability to objectively analyze the evidence and arguments presented to them to form a sound judgment of the matter. It is one of the 8 crucial conceptual skills for any manager. While the term critical thinking is complex and multi-faceted, it envelops an essential skill for managers. Team managers need to be adept at scrutinizing their observations to arrive at the correct conclusions. In addition, it involves using other vital managerial skills, namely, communication, analytical, conceptual, and #decisionmaking

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Critical thinking skills are essential in the workplace so that #managers can make great #decisions that account for multiple perspectives, consider observations, and verify the possible implications for the team. When challenges strike, whether from competitors or tensions within the team, these habits help managers overcome them smoothly. They can make innovative as well as informed decisions to beat problems that could be eating their team’s success.

Managers with good critical thinking skills can be distinguished from the rest. They are more likely to be inquisitive. In addition to listening carefully to others, they ask relevant questions too. Moreover, they observe and understand their environment nicely. As a result, such managers can develop multiple alternative solutions and think from different perspectives to eventually pick the best solution for their team. 

Critical thinking skills are relevant to the professional growth of every manager, as they help managers become strong troubleshooters for their teams. They can also better guide and coach team members by understanding and resolving their concerns. This process also builds healthy communication habits between the manager and their team – paving the way for trust and a loyal relationship. 

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On the other hand, a manager’s lack of critical thinking skills flags a lack of growth. Managers can stagnate in their careers without the qualities needed to comprehend fast-changing environments and rapidly evolving problems. Consequently, their teams feel stuck in monotonous routines that inhibit innovation. 

Such managers are often stuck in either of the two barriers to critical thinking. First, their thought process limits them. For example, suppose a manager is not open to taking unconventional routes due to fear of failure or unfamiliarity. In that case, they can be limited to tried and tested ideas that do not suit every situation. Second, their biases keep them from knowing more. Take, for instance, a manager who presumes novel work methods lazy – they will hardly bother to understand and adopt them. 

The key is to ensure you avoid becoming this exemplified manager. In the first step, test your skills. Risely helps managers do that for free with a few minutes of critical thinking self-assessment; check it out now. The critical thinking self-assessment helps managers understand the limitations hampering critical thinking. It also highlights where managers can use these skills and where managers are missing out on opportunities. Make the most of this one by starting the assessment now. 

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Afterward, look into ways to improve critical thinking skills. For example: question your assumptions. Very often, the presumptions we make without knowing a lot about the matter limit our thinking. Asking questions is a crucial component of critical thinking, and here it begins by questioning the guiding factors of our decisions. This way of thinking needs you to be open-minded while examining strange ideas and thinking from all perspectives. When a problem arrives, consider not only the team manager but also the team members with the expertise and responsibility to execute the tasks. In this manner, you can ensure a more well-rounded decision. 

While these are the early steps, a lot goes into developing your critical thinking skills. We have curated a blog to help managers train their brains for critical thinking, which you can access here for more insights on the process. 

Critical thinking does not end at the initial learning. The approach goes more profound as you find real-life scenarios to apply critical thinking effectively. The end goal is to develop practical skills that help you think critically in all situations that the managerial experience throws at you. So, with ambition on your mind and resources at your hand, we leave you to grow until next week! 

#leadership #leadershipdevelopment #managerdevelopment

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