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The Role of Critical Thinking in Leadership



You’re nearly a master of leadership as it’s part six of our 7 Deadly Skills. In this series, we’re counting down the top skills we think you need to be a brilliant leader.


Now is the time to discuss critical thinking and how to develop your critical-thinking skills, and how they will make you a great leader.

Read on to find out our tips on critical thinking and how you can apply them to your business and role.


What Does Critical Thinking Actually Mean?


Critical thinking allows leaders to evaluate their decision-making skills and how those decisions can impact business, employees, and clients in the future.


Without critical thinking, leaders could make rash decisions without analysing the consequences, not take their employee’s information on board, and cause uncertainty in the workplace. Being a successful leader goes hand-in-hand with this skill as it will create security and reliability within the leadership role.


A leader should always think a level above them. This will help them to understand the impact decisions might have on their systems and routine, consequently allowing them to be tactical with their approach to challenges within the workplace.

How to Embrace Critical Thinking


Keep Yourself Open to Change & Suggestions


Critical thinking plays a huge role in all aspects of leadership and day-to-day life, it is a crucial skill when it comes to organising both your business and your personal life. One wrong decision may lead to loss of profits, a key employee or further business. Therefore, knowing when and how to make accurate decisions is key.


We are firm believers that some of the best suggestions and changes come from listening to the people inside your business, taking on board criticism, and applying relevant changes in order to positively impact your business. Keeping yourself open to suggestions, whether that may be new technology to aid new solutions or reflecting upon past challenges within the business and evaluating what has worked well in comparison to what hasn’t, will keep your business fresh and successful.


The consequences of lacking critical thinking and not listening to suggestions when met with them? Potentially a loss of trust from your team and even a negative financial impact A business without a critical thinker will lack organisation and progress.


Ask Questions & Get Involved


Similarly to the above point, being active within your employment circle is a massive part of critical thinking. How do you know that things are running smoothly? Are you sure there is a sense of security and ambition within your workplace? You wouldn’t know the answer to those statements unless you have asked questions yourself.


As a leader with strong critical thinking skills, being hands-on with your team, supporting them during challenging times and querying the positives and negatives of those challenges, will give you a wider idea of what you want to achieve and what to work on in the future. Undoubtedly, this will mean you won’t repeat the same mistakes again.


Remember that challenges provide information on how to progress forward and get a wider idea of the ins and outs of your company. Incorporating these critical thinking tips into your management process will guarantee a successful workplace.


Qualities of Leaders with Critical Thinking Skills


Being a critical thinker relates to many admirable qualities which would make you the ultimate successful leader. It’s landed on our 7 Deadly Skills list for a reason, so here are a handful of key qualities you can adapt as a critically thinking leader.


Recognising Problems

A critical thinker can recognize problems and the source of issues – finding workable means to meet those problems and solve them.


Voice Matters Clearly and with Accuracy

Making sure that you are coherent when dealing with any issues and that you’re voicing these matters in a clear, assertive way is key when speaking to a team. Using language with accuracy will make sure you’ll be successful in your communication style.


Make Informed Decisions

A part of being a critical thinker is ensuring that every decision you make has been backed up by facts and will positively impact your business. Making decisions without “thinking” about them, may be received negatively by teammates and clients.


Now take a deep breath, you can see the light at the end of the tunnel of Deadly Skills. Being a critical thinker is extremely important in the workplace and in your personal life too, even if it seems assertive sometimes – as a leader, you have to take that role.


You might think this is a lot to take on but you’re in the right place. Reach out to us today at info@zest-learning.com to speak with us about how you can develop and grow both yourself and your team.


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