7 Ways You Can Engage Critical Thinking in Everyday Life

Critical thinkers sat around a table discussing work ideas

Last Updated on

April 17th, 2024 12:13 pm

Critical thinking is an essential skill that everyone needs to develop in order to make meaningful and informed decisions. It is an important part of problem-solving, decision-making, and creative thinking in professional lives as well as personal.

It involves taking a step back from a problem or situation, looking at it from different perspectives, and developing innovative solutions and outcomes to resolve an issue.

Let’s examine what critical thinking skills are and their importance, as well as provide tips for developing this important soft skill.

What is Critical Thinking?

Critical thinking is a process of analyzing and evaluating information, making judgments and drawing conclusions based on the analysis. It involves looking at a subject from various angles and being able to acquire new perspectives from different sources.

This process also involves being able to evaluate the credibility of the source, weighing different options and being able to identify the most effective solutions.

Critical thinkers think more effectively, resolving complex problems with greater confidence. It is a vital skill for anyone who wishes to be successful in the workplace and lead a peaceful personal life too.

Critical Thinking Examples

Critical thinking concepts can be hard to understand without some real-world examples to help. So here are a few examples of related soft skills to spark your imagination and engage critical thinking.

Analytical Thinking

Analytical thinking is a type of critical thinking that involves breaking down complex information into smaller parts in order to better understand it. It involves looking at the facts and data, analyzing them, and then drawing conclusions based on deductive reasoning.

Analytical skills require one to be able to identify patterns and trends in the data, as well as being able to draw logical conclusions from the evidence. This type of critical thinking can be applied to any situation, from everyday life to complex business decisions.

Creative Thinking

Creative thinking is a form of critical thinking that involves coming up with new and innovative ideas. It is the process of generating ideas, solutions, or products that are unique and original.

Creative thinkers, especially neurodivergent employees, adopt a “think outside the box” approach and come up with creative solutions to problems. This type of thinking encourages individuals to explore different possibilities and look at things from different perspectives.

Scientific Thinking

Scientific thinking is a form of critical thinking that involves using the scientific method to analyze and evaluate data. This type of thinking involves gathering evidence, forming hypotheses, testing those hypotheses, and drawing conclusions based on the results.

Scientific thinking requires an open mind and an ability to look at a problem from multiple angles in order to come up with the best solution.

Contrary to popular belief, pioneers of scientific thinking do not prescribe to science as what is “known as fact”, but that the goal of science is to disprove what has come before.


Open-mindedness is an important part of critical thinking. It involves being able to consider different perspectives and ideas without bias or prejudice. Open-mindedness encourages individuals to be more receptive to new ideas, challenge their own beliefs and assumptions, and think outside the box.

Open-mindedness also allows for a greater understanding of other people’s personalities, which can lead to better relationships with the wider world. It’s important to note everyone has cognitive biases.

But with open-mindedness, one can use open-mindedness and reflective thinking to overcome these cognitive biases in the interests of the world around them, if not their own belief system.

Asking The Right Questions

Asking the right questions is an important part of critical thinking. It involves being able to identify the key elements of a problem or situation and then asking questions that will help you gain more information about it.

Asking the right questions can help you spot connections between ideas, a core skill required in some professions such as project management to be able to maximize efficiency. You can include these when applying for jobs on your resume.

Some examples of questions that can be asked include: What are the facts? What assumptions are being made, or could be made?

critical thinking in action as four young people sit around a table discussing ideas

Critical thinking is pivotal to success in any leadership role

Divergent Thinking vs. Critical Thinking

There is a slight difference. Divergent thinking is the process of generating multiple solutions to a problem, while critical thinking is the process of evaluating those solutions.

Divergent thinking encourages individuals to explore different possibilities and come up with creative ideas. Critical thinking helps them evaluate those solutions and determine which one is best.

It also requires an open mind and the ability to think outside the box. By engaging in critical thinking on a regular basis, you become more aware of your own biases and assumptions, as well as those of others.

The Seven Steps of Critical Thinking

The concept of critical thinking can be difficult to grasp, but it is a vital skill to have. Critical thinking skills allow you to look objectively at a situation and use evidence, facts, and analysis to form a judgement. It involves the ability to recognize and assess assumptions, evaluate arguments, and draw accurate conclusions.

Here are the seven steps of critical thinking:

1. Defining the Problem With Different Types of Thinking

One of the first steps in critical thinking is to define the problem that needs to be solved. Without a clear understanding of the problem, it will be difficult to develop a plan to solve it. This step involves gathering all the available information about the problem, researching the issue, and understanding the scope of the problem.

This can include examining the root causes, the implications of the problem, and any potential solutions. Defining the problem allows you to frame the problem in a way that makes it easier to evaluate and identify potential solutions.

2. Gathering Relevant Information by Active Listening

Gathering relevant information is an important part of critical thinking. This involves learning as much as possible about the subject we are thinking about by researching, reading, and asking questions.

It is important to make sure that the information we are gathering is accurate and up-to-date, and that we are looking at the issue from multiple perspectives. Gathering the right information can help us form more accurate conclusions and can help us make better decisions with an improved form of knowledge.

3. Analyzing the Information

Analyzing the information is one of the most important elements of critical thinking. This involves breaking the information down into different parts and evaluating each individual component. By assessing the facts, data, and other information, you can begin to identify patterns and make connections between the different pieces of information.

This helps you to draw conclusions that are based on evidence and logic, as opposed to assumptions or personal bias. It also allows you to develop a more comprehensive view of the issue so that you can make well-informed decisions.

4. Developing Real Life Solutions

Developing solutions is the fourth step in critical thinking. This involves taking the information you have gathered and analyzing it to find potential solutions to the problem. During this step, you should consider all the facts, as well as other potential solutions that may not have been considered.

5. Evaluating Solutions Using Existing Knowledge

The next stage of the critical thinking process is evaluating solutions. This is the point where you assess the effectiveness, feasibility, and plausibility of each solution. You will need to consider the implications of each solution, the costs and benefits associated with it, and the expected outcomes.

This step often requires you to weigh the pros and cons of each solution and determine which one is best. Finally, you can decide whether the proposed solution is viable or if it needs to be modified or scrapped.

6. Making a Decision Using Valid Reasoning

Making a decision is the penultimate step in the critical thinking process. This is the culmination of all the research and analysis that has been done up to this point. A decision must be made based on the available evidence and the facts.

Once a decision has been made, it is important to evaluate the outcome and reflect on the decision-making process. This provides an opportunity to learn from the experience and improve decision-making skills in the future.

7. Reflecting on the Decision Made Through Observational Ability

Critical thinking skills also include reflecting on the decision made once it has been made. It is important to take the time to assess the decision.

That way, you can determine if it is the best solution based on the available data and the desired outcomes. Reflecting on decisions can help identify potential opportunities, or areas for improvement, through learning from mistakes in reasoning and personal biases.

By reflecting on decisions, it is possible to gain a better understanding of the situation and identify potential areas for improvement. This can help identify potential mistakes and learn from them. These kind of skills work great when you’re working with clients, and you can offer advice and consultation to help them improve.

Additionally, reflecting on the decision can help to develop a deeper understanding of the decision-making process and the associated risks and benefits that come with exercising such a valuable skill.

critical thinking word cloud on a digital tablet with a cup of coffee

Anyone Can Be a Critical Thinker

Critical thinking skills are invaluable in any field or situation. They require a disciplined process of observation, analysis, synthesis, and evaluation of information, and help individuals to identify and solve problems and make well-informed decisions in daily life.

Developing and honing your critical thinking ability can help you confidently develop creative solutions and make better decisions, in both professional and personal settings.

Keep reading to learn more about developing the mind and thinking outside the box!

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Rob Butler
30-Something Millennial with ADHD and suspected Autistic and Dyspraxic. Thought leader behind this website. Big visions of a better future for everyone, but forgets where he is half the time.Loves Rugby, his kids, and anything silly. Hates U2 and Marmite.

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