Our fifth, most important, skill for professionals, to future-proof one’s career is Critical Thinking.
To understand it better, I speak with Dr. Ashok Korwar, former Professor and PGP Chairman at the Indian Institute of Management IIM Ahmedabad and now a consultant and coach to leaders of high-growth companies.
Highlights of the conversation
Critical Thinking is critical because of three reasons:
- Too much data is available
- Growth of False news
- Increasing levels of specialisation
Critical Thinking is the ability to:
- Distinguish between what is true / appropriate / likely, and what is not
- Obtain insights and observe patterns from large amounts of data
- Apply learnings from one field to another, to solve problems
It is difficult to teach critical thinking because it requires (a) us to be inherently interested in learning diverse topics, make the required investments; and (b) the teacher to have the capabilities to instil such interest over time.
Unfortunately, our education system does not encourage Critical Thinking. We value Knowledge, knowing the facts… but not Understanding, how we make sense of and apply the facts.
In order to develop Critical Thinking, one practical tip would be to ask the question, Why, when faced with any situation, fact or data. Asking such a question repeatedly, with the intent of seeking a solution, is bound to lead to Critical Thinking.
In future episodes, we will deep-dive into these five skills and explore more stories on how we can build competitive advantage in career.