7 Steps To Improve Your Analytical Thinking Skills

October 19, 2017 | Career Transition

How are your analytical skills? Analytical thinking skills, like any other skills, are natural to some but not innate to everyone. You must have a keen interest, a sense of drive, and perseverance to learn about a certain topic to acquire this skill. After all, cultivating an analytical skill set is a skill like any other that takes honing and application. If you’re ready to enhance your analytical skills, then read on.

Why Do You Need Analytical Thinking Skills At Work?

Analytical thinking skills are critical in the workplace. It is essential for gathering data, solving complex problems, making rational decisions, as well as summarising data and executing well-thought-out projects. When you’re applying for a job, a lot of hiring managers look at this particular skill along with other highly desired job skills to determine if you’re a good fit for the company. Clearly, this is a skill that every employee should gain and sharpen to be able to climb up the career ladder.

7 Steps To Improve Your Analytical Thinking Skills

If you think your analytical thinking skills need some brushing up or you just want to improve it, here are some strategies you can do:

Be Observant

Take a walk outside or observe people in your office. Use as many of your senses, see what’s happening around you. Is there anything that interests you?  Remember you have to actively engage your mind.

Read Books

Once again, the key to improving your analytical thinking skill is to keep your mind active and running. Read books and try to work on an active reading strategy: proactively read and digest and question what you’re reading. You can highlight, raise questions, read aloud or make predictions to stay engaged with your reading material.

Learn How Things Work

Don’t just find the solution but know how exactly certain things work. By scrutinizing how things work, you will have a better understanding of the process which is vital in stimulating your analytical skills.

Ask Questions

Did you know that curiosity makes us smarter? According to Neuroscientist Aracelli Carmago, “The more curious we are about a subject, the more it engages our cognitive functions, such as attention and memory.” With that said, asking more questions can help develop better problem-solving skills, retention, and memory of a subject. So don’t be shy to ask questions, especially if your query is valid.

Play Brain Games

If you want to improve your analytical thinking skills, it may be time to play Sudoku or other brain games like puzzles, chess, or crosswords. The best part of working on brain games to develop your analytical skill set is it is fun and doesn’t require a lot of motivation to get started.

Practice Your Problem Solving Skills

Keep in mind that for every problem, there is a solution. Visualize and be articulate in the presentation of a particular concept. Prepare two, three or even more solutions to a problem. And, if possible, do test runs on those solutions. See which one is the best and the most logical.

Think About Your Decisions

Making important decisions at work is very common. Thus, think hard and rationalize your decisions. What are the pros and cons of your decision? Ask for an expert opinion if available or do extensive research. Ask yourself, is this the best solution for this problem? Take a step back to rethink it a bit more, and then you can finally decide.

At the end of the day, like any skill development, you have to a lot of practice and application. Learn from your everyday experiences. Then, practice your analytical skills until it comes naturally.