Critical thinking is an intellectual process that requires looking at a problem from different angles, analyzing possible solutions from both positive and negative perspectives, and making a decision that moves the situation toward an appropriate resolution. View problem-solving as an opportunity rather than as an insurmountable obstacle.
- Identify and analyze the problem
Clearly state the dilemma that exists, then weigh the pros and cons. Ask yourself whether the problem is solvable, whether one person can solve it alone, and if you have a bias in thought that needs to be broadened. Try reasoning in a fair-minded way, and remain open to the possibility that a misunderstanding might be at play.
- Brainstorm solutions
Make a list of possible steps that can be taken to resolve the problem. Write down anything that comes to mind, then narrow the possibilities to include only those that are likely to produce a positive outcome. One solution does not fit every situation, so remain open to out-of-the-box ideas.
- Decide on a solution
For every predicament there is the possibility of a satisfactory outcome, even if that requires accepting things as they are and moving on. Allow ample time to review the viable options. Once you reach a decision, take action.