Critical Thinking Skills in a Team

by Jennifer VanBaren; Updated September 26, 2017
People with critical thinking skills make great team members.

Critical thinking skills are a necessity for an effective team. Teamwork requires members to have many qualities including being skilled in good communication, having the same goal and possessing good critical thinking skills. Critical thinking is a self-disciplined habit of thinking that attempts to have thoughts that are reasonable and rational.

Definition

Critical thinking is accomplished by replacing egocentrically minded thoughts with thoughts that understand that normal human thinking is flawed. Critical thinkers always attempt to reason in a fair and consistent manner. They also understand and believe that their thinking and reasoning capabilities always have room for improvement. People who think this way tend to make great team players. They are not egotistical, they listen well and they always analyze information to the best of their ability without placing judgment on others.

Qualities

The main skills and qualities included and needed for critical thinking are rationality, self-awareness, honesty, open-mindedness, discipline and judgment. Rationality allows people to rely more on reason than emotion. Self-awareness helps people realize their motives, prejudices and biases. When these are realized, people can control the negativity these things can bring. Honesty is a critical skill needed to stop people from deceiving others. Open-mindedness allows individuals to look at issues from a variety of perspectives and to be open to changes. Discipline is required to resist speaking out of line and jumping to conclusions prematurely. Judgment is also important because it allows individuals to recognize that all humans have different views and everyone deserves respect.

Results

When team members possess effective critical thinking skills, great results occur. These skills cause individuals to ask vital questions and point out interesting opinions on problems and issues. Not all people possess these skills; therefore, when a team member does, these interesting questions that are asked can promote effective conversation in the group and positive results. Because these thinkers are generally very open-minded, they are able to assess situations without including any form of manipulation into the information. They are able to recognize practical approaches and consequences of actions. Effective communication also results from the presence of critical thinkers.

Development

Critical thinking skills are very important for teams to work well together. Anyone with the desire to think this way can develop these skills. To develop these skills, a person must first think for himself. Instead of asking another person for an answer, the person should consider thinking of the subject on his own and looking at the subject from all angles. The person should then evaluate the subject objectively without letting feelings and opinions get in the way. Another great way to develop these skills is by taking an issue in life and looking at it from other peoples’ perspectives. This allows a person to really investigate the issue objectively.

About the Author

Jennifer VanBaren started her professional online writing career in 2010. She taught college-level accounting, math and business classes for five years. Her writing highlights include publishing articles about music, business, gardening and home organization. She holds a Bachelor of Science in accounting and finance from St. Joseph's College in Rensselaer, Ind.

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