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Critical Thinking – The Skill of Doubting With a Cause

As a business analyst, you will have lots of information from different sources. Your successful journey in the business analysis field heavily depends on continuous try to increase the quality of your thinking.

A critical thinking mindset will enable you to examine the information and determine the best way to move forward by knowing exactly how to assess the information you can trust. You need to access information quality and relevance. Critical thinking is a judge of what to believe. Socrates who introduced the idea of questioning beliefs, questioning authority, seeking evidence, and striving to live an examined life.

During different task, you will perform as a business analyst in your day-to-day work like requirements negotiation and solutions proposal do not underestimate the following points.


Recognize Confirmation & Cognitive Biases

When you’re trying to figure out what to believe without deceiving yourself or ignoring evidence you are in a path of recognizing your bias. Try to recognize beliefs, busting assumptions, and undoubtable truths that may have a detrimental effect on how you assess and evaluate information. Confirmation bias causes us to dismiss evidence that causes doubt and search for evidence that dispels doubt, regardless of the quality of evidence. Cognitive biases aren’t totally bad because their mental simplifier helping us process things quickly and easily however is common to leave us susceptible to poor judgment.

Benefit of Doubt

Believing something without any attempt to get closing to the truth can lead to bad decisions. Being comfortable with doubt but avoiding overthinking can have positive impact on your decisions. Reflective skepticism helps a team ask a series of questions, and then discuss how each could determine a critical thinking error. Asking better questions and creatively dispute helps foster critical thinking skills, boosts self-confidence, enhances your creativity, and improves your problem-solving skills. By asking better questions that derive through doubt, you guide the conversation in the direction you want it to go, eliminating confusion.

Slow Down

Fast pace probably means that sometimes you feel too busy to think. In a continuously running business reality, the time is not always right to analyze and to think deep. You are forced to execute. Fast-paced business can be a critical thinking killer. However trying to “pause” certain times during the day, protecting your focus time slots, and instead of instantly responding and executing, thing and ask, is a habit toward improving critical thinking skills.

Avoid Willful blindness

Although this is a term used in law to describe a situation in which a person seeks to avoid civil or criminal liability it can be also applied for the lack of the person to try to find different aspects for a matter that is going to take a decision. Losing the holistic view and intentionally ignoring ideas, concerns etc. can affect detrimental the success of your business analysis tasks.

Developing a critical thinking mindset isn’t easy. It is totally doable, especially when you practice by integrating critical thinking into your daily life. Remember that simple truths do not tell the whole story

Giorgos Sioutzos

Giorgos Sioutzos is an experienced business analyst currently working at Netcompany in the social security sector. He holds a BSc in Management Science and Technology from Athens University of Economics and Business and Msc in International Business & Management from ALBA Graduate Business School. Numerus articles about business analysis have been published in most reputable Greek and foreign media. He has created educational videos for IIBA Knowelge Hub. Also he has contributed as an SME for Global Business Analysis Survey creation from IIBA. Certifications: CBAP, PMI-PBA, ITIL, PRINCE2, CPRE Advanced