We recently published an article on core skills to help you become more employable and among those skills was analytical thinking. The ability to critically analyze whatever information you’re given, to break it down into discernible bits so as to solve problems is a most useful skill to possess in any organization. This is why we have put together a few tips that could help you exercise your brain and improve your analytical thinking skills.
- Read actively and extensively
An important part of improving your analytical skills is based on the quality of information you consume regularly. You should read books and articles that will further expand your knowledge, everything ranging from politics to history to science and technology. This way, you’re putting more ammo in your intellectual toolbox. The intel you’re gathering will go a long way in helping you analyze things consequently. Try to avoid placing your focus on one genre so you do limit your knowledge. Active readers always have an edge over everyone else because you get to see the world from different angles and perspectives. In addition, this intellectual toolbox of yours also gets wider when you read and learn extensively.
Books. Are. Everything.
- Play games
This may not seem like the most conventional way to go but it really is an effective way of improving your analytical know-how. Games, “brain games” especially, are a great way to engage and challenge yourself. Puzzle games like Sudoku, Crosswords and so on help you task your brain and think harder because there’s a goal you’re trying to reach. Games like chess and scrabble are equally as great because they demand that you strategize and analyze your every move. Games like these are a good way to exercise mentally and have fun at the same time.
- Be Attentive
You should make it a point to notice the minute details about everyone and everything you come across. Your ability to pay attention to detail will be most useful to you when proffering solutions to any kind of problem. Try not to rush to providing an answer to a question, or jump to conclusions about anything. Take your time to study your subject, notice everything you possibly can so you are sure you have all of the information you need.
- Surround yourself with people that challenge you intellectually
Remember when your parents tried as hard as they could to hammer that “the company you keep” advice into your head, well they had a point. You should try to surround yourself with people who are smarter than you are.
“If you’re the smartest person in the room, you’re in the wrong room.” Please, do yourself a favor and get out of that room. You should interact with people you can have intellectual conversations and arguments with. You will constantly improve yourself this way.
- Ask Questions
You should challenge yourself by asking questions regularly. Your ability to ask relevant questions will further help your analytical abilities. Curiosity probably killed the cat but it will not kill you. To buttress our point about being attentive, your curiosity also sheds more light on things that may have otherwise been ignored.