Applying strategies to your thinking
As a professional, you undoubtedly count on numerous skills to do your job. However, one skill transcends and affects all others — the ability to think. Your thinking impacts every situation you face, arguably making the ability to think well the most beneficial and practical skill you can possess.
The ability to critique your own thinking will help you improve your ability to think. Answering a few questions can help you critique your thinking and give direction to your improvement efforts:
- What are the predominate influences in my thinking?
- How much of my thinking do I consider to be “good” thinking?
- Do I have control over my thought process?
- Do I apply standards to my thinking to help me avoid poor thinking?
- Do any significant problems with my thinking come to mind?
In addition to using questions to critique your own thinking, applying certain strategies can also help you improve your thinking. These strategies are to be alert to vague thinking, focus on what’s relevant, formulate effective questions, and explore alternative views. Applying each of these strategies to your thinking will help improve it in specific ways.
Being alert to vague thinking
The first strategy you can use to improve your thinking is to be alert to vague thinking. When thinking is vague, its meaning can’t be clear either.
Before sharing your ideas with others, take the time to make sure the meaning behind your thinking is clear. Techniques that can help you do this are stating one point at a time, elaborating on what you mean, and using examples to connect your thoughts to life experiences. These techniques will help you clearly communicate your thoughts to others.
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