Critical thinking is one of the most in-demand soft skills, but it can be difficult to see how important it is on a day-to-day basis without going through a real-life critical thinking example. In the video below, we explain how many people could misinterpret the results from Microsoft’s recent 4-day workweek experiment by failing to put into action the key critical thinking skill of synthesis.
Synthesize is phase 2 of the critical thinking roadmap and it’s about making sense of information (i.e., determining meaning) and decoding significance (i.e., identifying what is important). A quick review of Microsoft’s experiment may lead many to a conclusion that is unlikely to represent an accurate understanding of what happened in the example, and critically, what should be done as a result.
By applying two of the 16 critical thinking skills – pattern recognition and identifying relevance – you can arrive at a much more robust interpretation of the experiment.
The potential impact of critical thinking is significant as you can observe in this critical thinking example. According to a survey by a leading provider of critical thinking-related services Macat, 84% of senior managers believe their organization suffered a loss due to an absence of critical thinking in their workforce. In this particular example, it is easy to see how people could get stuck on the egocentrism plateau – one of three barriers to critical thinking – and only see the situation from one perspective.
If you want to learn how to apply these critical thinking skills at another level as demonstrated in this video, watch the recording of our free online intensive training.