The Critical Thinking Skills Employers Think They Want…And the Ones They Actually Need

  • Problem-Solving — applying some version of the scientific method
  • Analysis — considering the parts relative to the whole and vice versa
  • Creative Thinking — generating novel and useful ideas
  • Interpretation — explaining and defining constructs
  • Evaluation — assessing significance
  • Reasoning — applying logic and/or inference to draw conclusions
  • Problem-Solving — presumes you know what the problem is, and/or that you can find it
  • Analysis — presumes you can identify which wholes are made of which parts
  • Creative Thinking — presumes you know what has been done and what would be useful
  • Interpretation — presumes you are familiar with the constructs
  • Evaluation — presumes you have the requisite experience to know what something’s worth
  • Reasoning — presumes you know enough to draw reasonable inferences and conclusions
  • Resilience — they have bounced back from failure and learned from mistakes
  • Initiative — they have independently figured out what needed to be done and then did it
  • Professionalism — they have demonstrated culturally-appropriate behavior in a range of business contexts
  • Endurance — they have stayed on task despite challenges
  • When should an employee just follow orders, and when should (s)he use his/her judgment?
  • When should an employee ask for orders, and when should (s)he make an educated guess about what to do?
  • When should an employee ask for help on a challenging task, and when should (s)he blunder through it?
  • When should an employee push back when being told (s)he has erred, and when should (s)he just accept responsibility and apologize?

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Orin Davis

Orin Davis

Self-actualization engineer who makes workplaces great places to work. PI at Quality of Life Lab (www.qllab.org). Consultant. Professor. Startup Advisor.