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Employers Want "Critical Thinkers," But Do They Know What It Means?

72% of employers

...feel that critical thinking is key to their organization’s success.

But only half of those surveyed said their employees actually show this skill.

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IDEA EXTRACTED FROM:

Employers Want "Critical Thinkers," But Do They Know What It Means?

Employers Want "Critical Thinkers," But Do They Know What It Means?

https://www.fastcompany.com/3037837/employers-want-critical-thinkers-but-do-they-know-what-it-means?cid=search#

fastcompany.com

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Key Ideas

Traits employers seek in critical thinkers

  • They read between the lines: they cross-examine evidence and logical argument;
  • They dig deeper;
  • They're skeptical: they don't jump on the first good idea they find;
  • They come prepared: they know that real problems occur and are agile enough to find ways to solve them creatively.

EXPLORE MORE AROUND THESE TOPICS:

SIMILAR ARTICLES & IDEAS:

Creative Thinking Defined

Creativity is not just reserved for artistic tasks such as writing, painting or composing music.

Creative thinking is the ability to consider something – a conflict between empl...

Top Creative Thinking Skills
  • Analytical. Before thinking creatively about something, you first have to be able to understand it.
  • Open-Minded. Setting aside any assumptions or biases you may have, and look at things in a completely new way.
  • Problem Solving. Using your creativity to solve important issues.
  • Organization. Being able to structure a plan of action with clear goals and deadlines is vital.
  • Communication. Strong written and oral communication skills to communicate your solutions effectively.
Examples of Creative Thinking
Generally, anything that involves an “aha” moment is considered creative.
  • Artistic Creativity. You don't have to be an artist for your work to have an artistic element. For example: Composing a new fundraising script for volunteers or devising a lesson plan that will engage students.
  • Creative Problem-Solving. For example: Coming up with new procedures to improve quality or suggesting a way to improve customer service.
  • Creativity in STEM. For example: Constructing a research model to test a hypothesis or devising a computer program to automate a billing process.
Critical thinkers need the knowledge first

Employers need critical thinkers, but they cannot find them.

Focussing on knowledge only in college does not seem to help. Neither does it help to only focus on intellectual and cognitive sk...

The focus of skills over knowledge

Considering the K-12 system, we see that the emphasis on skills over content has changed the curriculum. Students increasingly focus on learning skills, but they may not learn too much history or science.

Critical thinking is not enough on its own. It needs to be used to gain insight from studying meaningful subject matter, like history or economics or physics or chemistry.

Critical Thinking

Critical thinking is a disciplined activity. It is not something we can acquire without intensive study and practice, nor can we isolate it from knowledge. Knowledge is foundational to provide the structure to do deep thinking.

Only with some background knowledge, can we apply the skills of critical thinking to problems and texts, understand the strengths and weaknesses of arguments, and offer creative solutions.

Making a business thrive

Specific vocational skills are essential - coders should be able to code, salespeople should be able to sell. But, we also need soft skills. By only focusing on the seemingly essential skills...

Ignoring soft skills

Organizations know how to measure vocational skills. They know how to measure typing skills for example. However, they are less able to measure passion or commitment.

Organizations hire and fire based on vocational skill output. But, getting rid of a negative thinker or a bully is much more difficult. An employee that demoralizes an entire team is hampering productivity.

Soft skills 

If you've got the vocational skills, you're of little help without the human skills. The soft skills, or rather real skills, can't replace vocational skills, but amplify the things you've already been measuring.

For instance, a team member with all the traditional vocational skills is the baseline. Add to that perceptive, charismatic, driven, focused, goal-setting, inspiring, motivated, deep listener, and you have a team member that will benefit the organization in exponential ways.

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