The dictionary defines "critical" as "characterized by careful analysis." It also points out that the word critical "implies an attempt at objective judging so as to determine both merits and faults."
Not getting that promotion at work because someone else seems a lot smarter than you? Find yourself making the wrong decisions all the time? Find it difficult to solve problems?
A lot of the above problems really boil down to you being able to think more logically and rationally and being able to present your point across in a clear and convincing way. Simply put, critical thinking skills help you think better and smarter.

How to Improve Your Critical Thinking Skills
We know that critical thinking is an important skill to have in the business world, but it can also play a huge role in our personal satisfaction as well. It’s not exclusive to our professional lives, and as such it should be a trait we’re constantly working to improve both in and out of the office.

Improvement Takes a Conscious Effort
Regardless of how badly you want to improve your critical thinking skills, it’s not an effortless overnight process. You’ll never go to bed one night and wake up the next morning an expert in analyzing situations and seeing all of the angles. Instead, becoming more effective at critical thinking takes a conscious dedication to push your mind to better take advantage of the unused processing power contained within.

Commit to Daily Skill-Building Activities
One technique for improving your critical thinking skills is to commit a little bit of time each day to completing skill-building activities. Identify one issue that you face in your personal or professional life and devote your free time to considering all of the advantages and disadvantages associated with the various ways of addressing the problem. The issue at hand could be anything from deciding where to take your next vacation, to the best way to reduce logistics costs when shipping your products to customers. The daily problems could also be something as simple as where to host your next business luncheon. The scope of the skill-building activity is much less important than the actual process of comparing pros and cons and then making a decision based on the facts at hand.

Identify Biases
The biggest problem that gets in the way of most critical thinkers is their own personal biases. Everyone perceives the world, and the issues we face in it, differently and with their own viewpoints. These biases, however, only serve to get in the way of critical thinking, giving us the egocentric feeling that our opinions are naturally the correct ones. The first step in critical thinking is identifying and letting go of influential biases. This allows us to assess issues from the standpoint of other stakeholders rather than solely from within our heads.

Open Your Eyes and Mind
To be able to release unjustified biases, it’s important that you open both your eyes and your mind. Because of our beliefs and views, we’re mentally trained to think a certain way when faced with a specific situation. In business, cold calling clients can be an intimidating task thanks to the likelihood of rejection that most people fear. Critical thinkers, on the other hand, know not to take these rejections personally. Instead of failure, they just see opportunities that still exist.

Becoming a skilled critical thinker isn’t like a light bulb – it’s not off one second and then on the next with a flip of a switch. Instead, learning how to better analyze situations and make informed decisions comes with practice and conditioning of your mind. By spending time every day to improve your thought processes and let go of unwarranted biases, over time you can learn to be more successful in both your personal and business lives.

Business Tip:
Conquer a Problem Each Day At the beginning of your day, select one issue to work through during your free time. Identify the problem. Turn the problem into a question you must answer. By the end of the day come to some type of resolution. Each day tackle a slightly more difficult problem.
After a while you’ll realize you’re problem solving every day!

Author's Bio: 

Tracey Fieber helps business owners simplify, automate, and grow their businesses and their lives. She believes in the power of hiring the right people, and helps her clients cultivate highly effective teams that allow them to focus on the work about which they're passionate. By nurturing business owners' strengths and holding them accountable for their own success, Tracey's leadership, communication, and coaching techniques help her clients take massive leaps forward.