70 questions to boost your critical thinking skills

Breanne Harris of TalentLens USA explains how to boost your critical thinking skills.

The key to developing and maintaining Critical Thinking skills is to ask questions.  Asking questions helps us look more deeply at the issue, break it into parts, find blind spots and lack of information and then make the best choice.

Asking sometimes difficult questions can help to solidify existing plans or change direction entirely – the important point is that it is advisable to approach each scenario with an open mind, ready to consider different perspectives, personalities and learning styles of team members.

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Here are 70 questions to boost your critical thinking skills:

  1. What is the problem?
  2. What is the goal?
  3. What information is essential?
  4. What do we know for sure?
  5. What don’t we know?
  6. What is the source of this information?
  7. Is this fact or opinion?
  8. Are we asking the right questions?
  9. Who else does this problem/situation affect?
  10. Who else should be involved in this decision?
  11. Can we re-frame the problem?
  12. Can we view this from another perspective?
  13. Have we played Devil’s advocate?
  14. Can we verify the information?
  15. What are the alternatives?
  16. What assumptions have we made?
  17. Have we sought out opposing information?
  18. Is there another way to interpret the data?
  19. What have I taken for granted?
  20. Are we trying to reach a conclusion too quickly?
  21. Are we avoiding making a decision?
  22. What is the big picture?
  23. How are my emotions affecting my thoughts?
  24. Does the problem make sense?
  25. Are we putting our own interests in front of others’?
  26. Does our conclusion follow from the evidence?
  27. Why?
  28. Can we test this idea?
  29. Have we tried this before?
  30. What is the worst case scenario?
  31. Can I disprove my own argument?
  32. Have I asked the right questions?
  33. What would the stakeholders say?
  34. What will my boss think?
  35. What will my competitors think?
  36. What will my customers think?
  37. Have I let my gut feelings direct my thoughts?
  38. What patterns can I identify?
  39. Have I fairly weighed the pros and cons?
  40. Have I followed the RED Model?
  41. What are the risks?
  42. What are the future implications?
  43. Am I being distracted by nonessential information?
  44. Do I have control over the outcome?
  45. Does anyone involved have a hidden agenda?
  46. Is the source credible?
  47. Is my perspective the only credible perspective?
  48. If I proceed with my idea, what might be the conclusion?
  49. If I do not proceed with my idea, what might be the conclusion?
  50. Am I trying to accomplish too much?
  51. Am I focusing on trivial issues rather than the big picture?
  52. Am I in a position to make this decision?
  53. Is the argument fair?
  54. Is the argument relevant?
  55. Is the argument credible?
  56. Do the advantages outweigh the risks?
  57. Who is responsible for what and when?
  58. Do we know when to implement Plan B?
  59. Do we know what success will look like?
  60. What is the question we’re trying to answer?
  61. What am I being asked to believe?
  62. Have I clearly articulated my argument?
  63. Is the evidence consistent or is there ambiguity?
  64. When did the problem start?
  65. Are we censoring possible ideas?
  66. What has changed about the situation?
  67. Is this a strategic issue or a tactical one?
  68. Is improvement possible?
  69. Are we choosing the best choice or the best choice available right now?
  70. What is missing?

That last question is for you.  What is missing from this list?

This article originally appeared on Critical-Thinkers.com

Breanne Harris

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