Critical thinking matters in life and business

Critical thinking is like the study of logic – it relates to how we make decisions and use our judgment. It is more than thinking about thinking; it is thinking about how we act and understanding how and why we act in certain situations, even when interacting with customers, colleagues and suppliers.

The ability to think clearly and rationally is often considered one of the hallmarks of being human. An individual’s ability to reason well is a critical thinking skill. Unfortunately, human reasoning does not always follow logic and is often based on emotional bias.

We live in a knowledge society, and the more critical you think, the deeper your knowledge will grow. Critical thinking gives you the skills to analyze and evaluate information so that you can make the most of it. It offers the best chance of making the right decision and minimizes damage if an error does occur.

Following are some tips to improve your critical thinking skills:

  1. Never stop learning. I used to marvel at entrepreneurs who constantly asked me questions. These weren’t the ones who let me know they knew everything. I often said, ‘You are so successful. Why are you asking me questions?” One told me you don’t learn anything by listening to yourself!
  2. Listen to ideas that don’t necessarily appeal to you. Learning does not come from constantly listening to the same things or ideas that only support your opinion. If you hear something different from what you think, remind yourself that you only learn by listening to things that are different from what you believe.
  3. Avoid analysis paralysis. This is defined as an inability to make a decision as a result of overthinking a problem. My mom always said, “Stop worrying about the problem and make a decision.” Both customers and sellers can fall into this trap. The salesperson thinks he should please the customer instead of helping the customer define his problem.
  4. Be strategic in your decision-making process. This is especially true on the sales floor. For example, don’t give the customer too many choices during your sales calls. Flooding her with options will cause her to develop analysis paralysis. Determine the client’s problem and give her just enough product options to get her excited about her project. If the customer isn’t thrilled with the first batch of samples presented, ask them more in-depth questions to get a better idea of ​​what they’re looking for. Sometimes it takes a while to find the right product – it’s not necessarily due to indecision.
  5. Be introspective in your thought process. This is defined as looking inside yourself with the idea of ​​understanding how and why you make decisions. It may take more time to discover the answer, but it’s worth understanding. To grow, you must be open to learning about yourself.
  6. Hang out with other critical thinkers. Critical thinkers have an unquenchable thirst for knowledge. These always ask “why” and are constantly curious. In fact, they can often be annoying as they are constantly asking questions.

Ultimately, honing your critical thinking skills can improve your overall situational awareness — a skill that will serve you well in both life and business. And it just might improve your sales skills.


Lisbeth Calandrino has been promoting shopping strategies for 20 years. Contact her at lcalandrino@nycap.rr.com to have her speak at your company or to schedule a consultation.

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