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How to Think Logically (And Permanently Solve Serious Problems)

Anthony Metivier | July 21, 2023 | Podcast , Thinking

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Yes, but not so fast.

You want to make sure you’re using the right kinds of logic for the problems at hand.

For example, you might need a non-classical logic instead of classical logic to approach a particular problem.

You see, logical thinkers do what I’m doing now:

They put the brakes on when they encounter problems and start to spin those problems around.

Why? Because logic itself often involves digging deeper and analyzing different perspectives.

For example, one of the forms of logical thinking you’re about to discover would have you instantly ask… 

Is there more than one kind of logic for solving life’s problems quickly? Or can I explore alternatives outside of logic? 

A logical thinker might do the same thing to the very idea of a “problem” itself.

This is done by “mentally rotating” the topic at hand and seeing how it might in fact not be a problem at all.

It might be a path to a solution. 

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How to think logically: 9 ways to improve your logical thinking skills.

At the end of the day, using the right form of logic is more about the best possible solution than the problem, but we do need to make sure we understand the problem first.

If you’ve listened to Elon Musk talk about first principles thinking, that’s a form of logic he’s using to help humans thrive on distant planets after earth dies. And communicate better here on our precious planet while we still can.

Those are real problems, and the right forms of logic are needed.

The best part?

There are a whole lot more ways to think logically to solve global and personal problems alike, so let’s get started 

One: Take A Deep Dive Into Logical Thinking

Improving logical reasoning begins by knowing the types of logic at your disposal.

a history image shows history logic

Exploring the history of logic is well worth your time because it will help you see how humans discovered these principles and refined them over time through practice . 

As you’ll soon discover, many cultures have identified and used logical forms such as:

  • Philosophical logic
  • Informal logic
  • Formal logic
  • Modal logic
  • Mathematical logic
  • Paraconsistent logic
  • Semantic logic
  • Inferential logic
  • Systematic logic

Related to this, you have the difference between what philosopher Elijah Millgram calls theoretical reasoning vs. practical reasoning. The first involves figuring out the facts, the second is the process of determining what courses of action to take based on what is ideally a set of accurate facts.

Now, usually what people who want to think more logically are actually after is the first category, or philosophical logic . This is also called “reasoning” and includes the skills of:

  • Causal inference

Deductive reasoning is what we think of when we think of Sherlock Holmes , who builds his cases by arguing from general principles. He uses these to describe a specific series of events and solve various mysteries. 

sherlock holmes

Inductive reasoning is essentially the reverse of this process. Instead of using general principles to arrive at specifics, you use specific details to generalize. For example, you might notice that I post on this blog almost every week, and use inductive reasoning to logically determine that I am a consistent blogger. 

Causal inference helps you understand the scientific reason why and how things change. For example, why are you reading this article? I can logically infer that it is because you want to experience change and become a better thinker.

(Or maybe you want to experience more, such as all of these 11 benefits of critical thinking .)

Analogy or analogical reasoning involves making comparisons based on established examples or models. 

For example, we know that nearly every memory champion openly admits that they have normal memory that doesn’t work especially well without using mnemonic devices . By analogy, we can infer that any person with average memory abilities can become a memory champion. 

How long should you study logic? I’d suggest at least 90 days so you can get the bird’s eye overview and enough of the granular details.

owl eyes

Logical thinkers always make sure they have a bird’s eye view and the granular details at the same time.

Plus, as you’ll soon discover on this page, there are other fields you can read from to improve your logical thinking.

Two: Understand the Problems You’re Trying to Solve Deeply

Ever taken a quiz and realized you answered before thinking about the question? You could have gotten it correctly, but your impulses took over and you lost precious points. 

It’s not that you were being illogical. You just didn’t take the time to fully understand the question, and the reason why you failed to do so might have been logical. For example, from one perspective, in some contexts it might be perfectly logical to rush through an exam if you’re running out of time. 

But generally, we want to be sure that we deeply understand the problems we face. That is why Abraham Lincoln famously said:

“Give me six hours to chop down a tree and I will spend the first four sharpening the axe.” 

abraham lincoln

Lincoln is using an analogy here, one in which the “axe” stands in as an analogy. It speaks to spending the time needed to make sure you’re using the right tools for the job. Moreover, you make sure they are in top shape before you use them.

All the more reason to learn more about the different forms of logic. It will put more tools in your tool box and enable you to keep them sharp.

Here are 9 more critical thinking strategies to help you keep your axe sharp.

Three: Learn More About Language

A lot of people struggle to think logically because they don’t understand enough about what words mean.

Logical thinking involves nuance, so the more you know about words and their meanings, the greater mental precision in decision-making you’ll enjoy. 

To improve, here’s how to memorize vocabulary . It will help you add more meanings to words and add more definitions to those you already know. Learning word origins and how prefixes and suffixes work will help you too.

On top of learning more about words and their meanings, learning about language and logic will help, such as studying syllogisms and logical fallacies .

a women is learning about language and logic

Go deep and learn as much as you can about fallacies so you really know your stuff. It’s easy to fall into thinking traps if you don’t.

For example, some people like to accuse others of slippery slope fallacy, without realizing that there are actually six kinds of this fallacy. 

If you want to think logically, it pays to be thorough. That’s why we’ll focus on thoroughness next.

Four: Read Quickly Without Sacrificing Thoroughness

Improving vocabulary is huge for improving logical thinking, and it will help you read faster .

But to improve your logical skills over time, you need to read thoroughly. 

I suggest you read bigger books and more of them, starting with the key textbooks in your field of interest. 

By going for the biggest and most authoritative books, you’ll be reading more logically .

Establishing foundations in your mind by reading authoritative textbooks will help you develop pattern recognition. This skill leads to faster use of the logical forms of inference we discussed in the first part of this article.

Five: Listen To Long Form Content

a woman is listening a man talk

Short form content is causing people to make snap judgments and interrupt people before they’ve heard the full story. Logical thinkers protect themselves by practicing listening for long periods of time.

Not only is it helpful to read longer books, but you’ll learn to think much more logically when you listen to logical people think out loud.

Debates are a great way to do this and the Internet makes it possible to find many of them. 

It’s important to pay attention to both sides of the argument, however.

As you listen, practice thinking yourself by mentally rehearsing the evidence you would provide in support of your views. Also think about how you would respond.

Another tip:

Notice the holes in the arguments proposed by the debaters and list out the ways you would fill in the gaps. 

And if you want to remember more of what goes on during debates, Memory Palace Mastery is here to help.

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Six: Expand Your Competence Using Multiple Media

I’ve just suggested that you experience “thinking out loud” and model it yourself.

But you’ll want to go beyond completing logical exercises in your mind. You should also:

To practice speaking logically, engage in as many discussions as you can about real problems. Sure, there’s a place for talking about movies and sports. But if you want to know how to think more logically, you’ve got to practice it yourself in real time.

Writing is always key for developing logical thinking, so I suggest you keep a journal. This simple practice will help you see your own thinking process and improve it over time. 

Combined, you will have many opportunities for self-analysis. If you can record your conversations and look at transcripts of them, all the better. 

Seven: Ask Better Questions

a woman asks questions in a class

A lot of us ask the typical W5 questions and let it rest at that:

But to practice thinking logically, you want to go beyond these questions. Ask in addition to these questions: 

  • According to whom?
  • According to what precedent?
  • Where isn’t this true?
  • When hasn’t this been the case?

There are many variations on these questions you can ask, and I cover more along these lines in our community’s post on how to think faster .

Eight: Learn Game Theory

One of the lesser known ways to learn logical thinking is to study games and metagames. 

a picture of games

In brief, game theory studies areas of competition where people regularly make decisions. These decisions are influenced by other people in the area and in turn influence others. 

By modeling the ways people interact in competitive contexts, you can learn to think more logically and avoid cognitive biases that harm your performance in life. 

You’ll enjoy avoiding many problems because game theory helps train your mind to anticipate the possible outcomes of various decisions. By thinking through consequences in advance, you save yourself a lot of trouble.

Note: You can perform game theory on the past as well by thinking through what would have happened had people acted differently. This philosophical approach is called working through the counterfactuals of a historical situation and can be used on your personal life and large groups.

Some people think that game theory has limited value for everyday life, but I don’t think they’re being… logical about that. We all find ourselves in situations where we are influenced to act in certain ways and understanding these pressures will help you respond in much better ways. 

A key example is by using the Monty Hall Problem or Three Door Problem to make decisions . 

an old building monty hall

Logical exercises like The Monty Hall Problem help you think through what to do when you face choices in life.

Some people squabble over whether it is in fact logical to use this problem in life, but I can attest to its value.

For example, when I see an opportunity to do something different and feel like I want to default to my previous choices, I bring this game theoretical example to mind and remind myself to travel the “path less travelled.” 

Is the math on my side?

I think so, because I’ve gone on many adventures that logic dictates could not have happened had I chosen to stick with the same thing.

To learn more about these situations, check out the stories I share in The Victorious Mind: How to Master Memory, Meditation and Mental Well-Being .

Nine: Use Rules And Embrace Limitations

 I didn’t use to like rules. In some ways I still don’t.

But one day I was enjoying dinner with Tony Buzan, memory expert, mind map innovator and co-founder of the World Memory Championships. 

I told him about how I sometimes would switch memory systems while under time trials for numbers and playing cards. 

He said, “The rules will set you free.” 

Tony Buzan with Anthony Metivier and Phil Chambers

Tony Buzan with Anthony Metivier and Phil Chambers

This is important because life, as in memory training, often gives us the opportunity to use multiple techniques.

For example, when remembering numbers, we could choose the Dominic System or the Major System , though as I discovered, it doesn’t pay off to switch from one to the other during a time trial.

But by willing to limit ourselves and stick to the “rules” of just one system, we can improve our performance.

This is true in life too, where you can learn certain rules of thumb and stick to them.

To take another example, learning the logic of Chip and Dan Heath’s W.R.A.P. technique and practicing it over time has been a tremendously helpful problem solving model for me.

In fact, it’s so helpful, it is “illogical” to forget not to use it when making decisions. That’s why I memorized it using a special memory technique called ars combinatoria , something that was very important in the history of how logical thinking developed.

What rules of thumb that help you “limit” yourself to a productive form of thinking and decision making can you adopt? 

Thinking Logically Is A Rewarding Process To Enjoy For Life

Have you enjoyed learning these nine ways to improve your logical thinking? 

I hope so and hope you will make practicing some of these approaches a personal hobby.

a woman is practising zen

You can easily practice logical thinking while meditating or working with an alternative to logic like Zen.

As a final tip, it would only be logical for me to recommend the opposite of logic. 

You see, there are practices like Zen which evolved to help us see and experience the limits of logic. Zen turns language against itself to help us experience mental relief from the problems we think so hard about. 

One of the best critical thinking books that situates the topic in the larger realm of computational thinking for both humans and machines is Gödel Escher Bach . For a collection of koans to explore, The Gateless Gate by Mumon is an interesting source.

I mention the opposite of logic not only because it is logical to do so. To fully experience the rewards of logical thinking, you need to be able to step outside of thinking altogether. 

Questioning deeply is not enough. We need to question the process of questioning itself as a lifelong learning habit.

So on that note, let the questioning begin. Let me know which of these ways to improve your thinking you’re going to try out and what questions about logic do you still have?

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how can i improve my logical thinking and problem solving skills

How to Improve Your Logical Thinking

how can i improve my logical thinking and problem solving skills

Logical thinking is a crucial cognitive skill that helps us make informed decisions, solve problems, and navigate the complexities of our daily lives. 

Whether you're a student, a professional, or someone looking to enhance your mental agility, improving your logical thinking can profoundly impact your success and overall well-being. 

This blog post will explore practical strategies and exercises to boost your logical thinking skills.

Understand the Basics of Logic

Before diving into the strategies for improving logical thinking, it's essential to grasp the fundamentals of logic. Logic is the science of reasoning involving deduction, induction, and inference. Familiarize yourself with logical fallacies, syllogisms, and conditional statements to build a solid foundation.

Practice Critical Thinking

Critical thinking is closely related to logical thinking, involving analyzing, evaluating, and synthesizing information to make reasoned judgments. Engage in activities that require critical thinking, such as reading complex texts, solving puzzles, or participating in debates. Question assumptions, evaluate evidence, and seek alternative perspectives to hone your critical thinking skills.

Play Brain-Boosting Games

Games like chess, Sudoku, and logic puzzles are excellent tools for enhancing logical thinking. These games require you to think several steps ahead, consider various possibilities and make strategic decisions. Regularly playing such games can significantly improve your ability to think logically.

Develop Problem-Solving Skills

Logical thinking is often synonymous with problem-solving. To improve your logical thinking, actively seek out and tackle problems in your daily life. Break complex issues into smaller, more manageable components, analyze each part, and identify potential solutions. Over time, you'll become a more adept problem solver.

Study Formal Logic

Consider studying formal logic, which is the systematic study of valid reasoning. While it may sound daunting, plenty of online courses, textbooks, and resources are available to help you grasp the concepts of formal logic. Learning about propositional and predicate logic can be intellectually rewarding and immensely beneficial for your logical thinking skills.

Engage in Debates and Discussions

Participating in debates and discussions can sharpen your logical thinking by forcing you to articulate your thoughts and defend your viewpoints. Engage in conversations with people with different opinions, which will challenge your thinking and help you develop well-reasoned arguments.

Analyze Real-World Scenarios

Apply logical thinking to real-world scenarios and situations. Consider the consequences of various actions, assess cause-and-effect relationships, and make decisions based on logical reasoning. This practical approach will help you develop a habit of thinking logically in your everyday life.

Seek Feedback and Learn from Mistakes

Don't shy away from seeking feedback on your logical thinking skills. Constructive criticism from peers or mentors can help you identify areas for improvement. Additionally, embrace your mistakes as valuable learning opportunities. Analyze what went wrong, how you arrived at a flawed conclusion, and what you can do differently next time.

Cultivate Patience and Persistence

Improving your logical thinking skills takes time and effort. Be patient with yourself and persevere through challenges. Like any skill, logical thinking can be developed and refined over time with consistent practice and dedication.

Logical thinking is a vital skill that can enhance your problem-solving abilities, decision-making process, and overall cognitive agility. You can significantly improve your logical thinking skills by understanding the basics of logic, practicing critical thinking, playing brain-boosting games, and engaging in debates and discussions. 

Remember that it's a continuous learning and development journey, so be persistent, seek feedback, and embrace opportunities to apply your logical thinking in real-life situations. 

Ultimately, the ability to think logically will empower you to make more informed and rational choices in all aspects of your life.

how can i improve my logical thinking and problem solving skills

Shiva is a subject matter expert in communication, marketing, productivity, and learning systems. He has previously contributed to many blogs and newsletters, including Validated, Mental Models, HackerNoon, and several brands. You can find Shiva on  LinkedIn  or email him at shiva(at)routine.co.

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The Most Important Logical Thinking Skills (With Examples)

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Logical thinking skills like critical-thinking, research, and creative thinking are valuable assets in the workplace. These skills are sought after by many employers, who want employees that take into account facts and data before deciding on an important course of action. This is because such solutions will ensure the organization’s processes can continue to operate efficiently.

So, if you’re a job seeker or employee looking to explore and brush up on your logical thinking skills, you’re in luck. This article will cover examples of logical thinking skills in the workplace, as well as what you can do to showcase those skills on your resume and in interviews.

Key Takeaways:

Logical thinking is problem solving based on reasoning that follows a strictly structured progression of analysis.

Critical thinking, research, creativity, mathematics, reading, active listening, and organization are all important logical thinking skills in the workplace.

Logical thinking provides objectivity for decision making that multiple people can accept.

Deduction follows valid premises to reach a logical conclusion.

It can be very helpful to demonstrate logical thinking skills at a job interview.

The Most Important Logical Thinking Skills

What is logical thinking?

10 examples of logical thinking skills, examples of logical thinking in the workplace, what is deductive reasoning, logical thinking in a job interview, logical thinking skills faq, final thoughts.

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Logical thinking is the ability to reason out an issue after observing and analyzing it from all angles . You can then form a conclusion that makes the most sense. It also includes the ability to take note of reactions and feedback to aid in the formation of the conclusion.

Logical thinking skills enable you to present your justification for the actions you take, the strategies you use, and the decisions you make. You can easily stand in front of your clients, peers, and supervisors and defend your product, service, and course of action if the necessity arises.

Logical thinking is an excellent way of solving complex problems. You can break the problem into smaller parts; solve them individually in a sequence, then present the complete solution. However, it is not infallible.

So, when a problem in the workplace feels overwhelming, you may want to think about it logically first.

Logical thinking skills are a skill set that enables you to reason logically when solving problems. They enable you to provide well-reasoned answers to any issues that arise. They also empower you to make decisions that most people will consider rational.

Critical-thinking skills. If you are a critical thinker, then you can analyze and evaluate a problem before making judgments. You need to improve your critical thinking process to become a logical thinker.

Your critical thinking skills will improve your ability to solve problems. You will be the go-to employee concerning crises. People can rely on you to be reasonable whenever an issue arises instead of letting biases rule you.

Research skills. If you are a good researcher , then you can search and locate data that can be useful when presenting information on your preferred subject.

The more relevant information you have about a particular subject, the more accurate your conclusions are likely to be. The sources you use must be reputable and relevant.

For this reason, your ability to ferret out information will affect how well you can reason logically.

Creative thinking skills. If you are a creative thinker , then you can find innovative solutions to problems.

You are the kind of person that can think outside the box when brainstorming ideas and potential solutions. Your thinking is not rigid. Instead, you tend to look at issues in ways other people have not thought of before.

While logical thinking is based on data and facts, that doesn’t mean it is rigid. You can creatively find ways of sourcing that data or experimenting so that you can form logical conclusions. Your strategic thinking skills will also help enable you to analyze reactions or collect feedback .

Mathematical skills. If you are skilled in mathematics , then you can work well with numbers and represent mathematical ideas using visual symbols. Your brain must be able to compute information.

Business is a numbers game. That means you must have some knowledge of mathematics. You must be able to perform basic mathematical tasks involving addition, subtractions, divisions, multiplications, etc.

So, to become a logical thinker, you must be comfortable working with numbers. You will encounter them in many business-related complex problems. And your ability to understand them will determine whether you can reach an accurate logical conclusion that helps your organization.

Reading skills. If you are a good reader , then you can make sense of the letters and symbols that you see. Your ability to read will determine your competency concerning your logical thinking and reasoning skills.

And that skill set will come in handy when you are presented with different sets of work-related statements from which you are meant to conclude. Such statements may be part of your company policy, technical manual, etc.

Active listening skills. Active listening is an important communication skill to have. If you are an active listener, then you can hear, understand what is being said, remember it, and respond to it if necessary.

Not all instructions are written. You may need to listen to someone to get the information you need to solve problems before you write it down. In that case, your active listening skills will determine how well you can remember the information so that you can use it to reason things out logically.

Information ordering skills. If you have information ordering skills, then you can arrange things based on a specified order following the set rules or conditions. These things may include mathematical operations, words, pictures, etc.

Different organizations have different business processes. The workflow in one organization will be not similar to that of another organization even if both belong to the same industry.

Your ability to order information will depend on an organization’s culture . And it will have a major impact on how you can think and reason concerning solutions to your company problems.

If you follow the wrong order, then no matter how good your problem-solving techniques are your conclusions may be wrong for your organization.

Persuasion skills. Logical thinking can be useful when persuading others, especially in the workplace.

For example, lets say one of your co-workers wants to take a project in an impulsive direction, which will increase the budget. However, after you do your research, you realize a budget increase would be impossible.

You can then use your logical thinking skills to explain the situation to your co-worker , including details facts and numbers, which will help dissuade them from making an uninformed decision.

Decision making skills. Decision making skills go hand and hand with logical thinking, as being able to think logically about solutions and research topics will make it far easier to make informed decisions.

After all, no one likes making a decision that feels like a shot in the dark, so knowing crucial information about the options aviable to you, and thinking about them logically, can improve your confidence around decision making.

Confidence skills. Confidence that stems from an emotional and irrational place will always be fragile, but when you have more knowledge available to you through logical thinking, you can be more confident in your confidence skills.

For instance, if an employee asked you to answer an important question, you will have a lot more confidence in your answer if you can think logically about it, as opposed to having an air of uncertainty.

To improve your logic skills, it would be wise to practice how to solve problems based on facts and data. Below are examples of logical thinking in the workplace that will help you understand this kind of reasoning so that you can improve your thinking:

The human resource department in your organization has determined that leadership skills are important for anyone looking to go into a senior management position. So, it decides that it needs proof of leadership before hiring anyone internally. To find the right person for the senior management position , every candidate must undertake a project that involves a team of five. Whoever leads the winning team will get the senior managerial position.

This example shows a logical conclusion that is reached by your organization’s human resource department. In this case, your HR department has utilized logical thinking to determine the best internal candidate for the senior manager position.

It could be summarized as follows:

Statement 1: People with excellent leadership skills that produce winning teams make great senior managers. Statement 2: Candidate A is an excellent leader that has produced a winning team. Conclusion: Candidate A will make an excellent senior manager .
A marketing company researches working women on behalf of one of their clients – a robotics company. They find out that these women feel overwhelmed with responsibilities at home and in the workplace. As a result, they do not have enough time to clean, take care of their children, and stay productive in the workplace. A robotics company uses this research to create a robot cleaner that can be operated remotely . Then they advertise this cleaner specifically to working women with the tag line, “Working women can do it all with a little bit of help.” As a result of this marketing campaign, their revenues double within a year.

This example shows a logical conclusion reached by a robotics company after receiving the results of marketing research on working women. In this case, logical thinking has enabled the company to come up with a new marketing strategy for their cleaning product.

Statement 1: Working women struggle to keep their homes clean. Statement 2: Robot cleaners can take over cleaning duties for women who struggle to keep their homes clean. Conclusion: Robot cleaner can help working women keep their homes clean.
CalcX. Inc. has created a customer survey concerning its new finance software. The goal of the survey is to determine what customers like best about the software. After reading through over 100 customer reviews and ratings, it emerges that 60% of customers love the new user interface because it’s easy to navigate. CalcX. Inc. then decides to improve its marketing strategy. It decides to train every salesperson to talk about the easy navigation feature and how superior it is to the competition. So, every time a client objects to the price, the sales rep could admit that it is expensive, but the excellent user interface makes up for the price. At the end of the year, it emerges that this strategy has improved sales revenues by 10%.

The above example shows how logical thinking has helped CalcX. Sell more software and improve its bottom line.

Statement 1: If the majority of customers like a particular software feature, then sales reps should use it to overcome objections and increase revenues. Statement 2: 60% of the surveyed customers like the user interface of the new software, and; they think it makes navigation easier. Conclusion: The sales reps should market the new software’s user interface and the fact that it is easy to navigate to improve the company’s bottom line.
A political candidate hires a focus group to discuss hot-button issues they feel strongly about. It emerges that the group is torn on sexual reproductive health issues, but most support the issue of internal security . However, nearly everyone is opposed to the lower wages being paid due to the current economic crisis. Based on the results of this research, the candidate decides to focus on improving the economy and security mechanisms in the country. He also decides to let go of the sexual productive health issues because it would potentially cause him to lose some support.

In this case, the political candidate has made logical conclusions on what topics he should use to campaign for his seat with minimal controversies so that he doesn’t lose many votes.

This situation could be summarized as follows:

Statement 1: Most people find sexual reproductive health issues controversial and cannot agree. Statement 2: Most people feel that the internal security of the country is in jeopardy and something should be done about it. Statement 3: Most people want higher wages and an improved economy. Statement 4: Political candidates who want to win must avoid controversy and speak up on things that matter to people. Conclusion: To win, political candidates must focus on higher wages, an improved economy, and the internal security of the country while avoiding sexual reproductive health matters.

Deductive reasoning is an aspect of logical reasoning. It is a top-down reasoning approach that enables you to form a specific logical conclusion based on generalities. Therefore, you can use one or more statements, usually referred to as premises, to conclude something.

For example:

Statement 1: All mothers are women Statement 2: Daisy is a mother. Conclusion: Daisy is a woman.

Based on the above examples, all mothers are classified as women, and since Daisy is a mother, then it’s logical to deduce that she is a woman too.

It’s worth noting though, that deductive reasoning does not always produce an accurate conclusion based on reality.

Statement 1: All caregivers in this room are nurses. Statement 2: This dog, Tom, is a caregiver . Conclusion: This dog, Tom, is a nurse .

From the above example, we have deduced that Tom, the dog, is a nurse simply because the first statement stated that all caregivers are nurses. And yet, in reality, we know that dogs cannot be nurses. They do not have the mental capacity to become engaged in the profession.

For this reason, you must bear in mind that an argument can be validly based on the conditions but it can also be unsound if some statements are based on a fallacy.

Since logical thinking is so important in the workplace, most job interviewers will want to see you demonstrate this skill at the job interview. It is very important to keep in mind your logical thinking skills when you talk about yourself at the interview.

There are many ways in which an interviewer may ask you to demonstrate your logical thinking skills. For example:

You may have to solve an example problem. If the interviewer provides you a problem similar to one you might find at your job, make sure to critically analyze the problem to deduce a solution.

You may be asked about a previous problem or conflict you had to solve. This classic question provides you the opportunity to show your skills in action, so make sure to highlight the objectivity and logic of your problem solving.

Show your logic when talking about yourself. When given the opportunity to talk about yourself, highlight how logic comes into play in your decision making. This could be in how you picked the job position, why you choose your career or education, or what it is about yourself that makes you a great candidate.

Why is it important to think logically?

It’s important to think logically because it allows you to analyze a situation and come up with a logical solution. It allows for you to reason through the important decisions and solve problems with a better understanding of what needs to be done. This is necessary for developing a strong career.

Why is logic important?

Logic is important because it helps develop critical thinking skills. Critical thinking skills are important because they help you analyze and evaluate a problem before you make a decision. It also helps you improve your problem-solving skills to allow you to make better decisions.

How do you improve your logical thinking skills?

When improving your logical thinking skills make sure you spend time on a creative hobby and practice questioning. Creative hobbies can help reduce stress levels, and lower stress leads to having an easier time focusing on tasks and making logical thinking. Creative hobbies can include things like drawing, painting, and writing.

Another way to improve your logical thinking is to start asking questions about things. Asking questions allows for you to discover new things and learn about new topics you may not have thought about before.

What are logical thinking skills you need to succeed at work?

There are many logical thinking skills you need to succeed in the workplace. Our top four picks include:

Observation

Active Listening

Problem-solving

Logical thinking skills are valuable skills to have. You need to develop them so that you can become an asset to any organization that hires you. Be sure to include them in your resume and cover letter .

And if you make it to the interview, also ensure that you highlight these skills. You can do all this by highlighting the career accomplishments that required you to use logical thinking in the workplace.

It’s Your Yale – Consider Critical Thinking Skills to Articulate Your Work Quality

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Roger Raber has been a content writer at Zippia for over a year and has authored several hundred articles. Having retired after 28 years of teaching writing and research at both the high school and college levels, Roger enjoys providing career details that help inform people who are curious about a new job or career. Roger holds a BA in English from Cleveland State University and a MA from Marygrove college.

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How to Improve Problem Solving Skills [10 Ways]

While it might seem like some people are just born with stronger problem-solving skills, there are strategies that anyone can use to improve them.

That’s right, it’s possible to significantly enhance your abilities in this area — and the best part is, most of these activities are also pretty fun!

What Are Problem Solving Skills?

Before we get to the engaging activities, let’s refine our understanding of problem-solving skills, which are any techniques that help you consistently:

  • Understand the causes of problems
  • Overcome short-term crises
  • Create strategies to solve longer-term problems
  • Turn problems into opportunities

What Problem Solving Skills Should I Have?

You’ll be able to solve problems in your role better as you grow in your industry-specific knowledge. But there are also a few universal problem solving skills we all need:

  • Defining the Problem: Deeply understanding a problem through research , leading to better solutions. Research can include interviewing, reading books and emails, analyzing financial data, searching your organization’s intranet, and organizing your findings.
  • Brainstorming: Creating a myriad of new solutions quickly. In group brainstorms, allow everyone to state ideas. Appreciate all input, and avoid criticism. Then, organize solutions into groups around common themes.
  • Analyzing: Using disciplined thought processes to evaluate each possible solution. Besides listing their costs and benefits, you might apply deductive reasoning, game theory, and the rules of logic (including fallacies) to them.
  • Managing Risk: Anticipating and trying to avoid the downsides of key solutions. Your team can list potential risks, rate how likely each is, predict a date by which each might either happen or no longer be an issue, and devise ways to reduce those risks.
  • Deciding: The ability to decide on a solution and move forward with it. After an appropriate amount of time, an analysis of possible solutions, and feedback from team members, a designated decider must choose and implement a solution.
  • Managing Emotions: Applying emotional intelligence in order to improve your and your team members’ ability to think clearly. This requires you to recognize emotions in yourself and others, manage feelings, and channel emotions into useful work.

10 Exciting Ways to Improve Problem Solving Skills

Use these ten creative ways to improve problem solving skills, develop more strategic ways of thinking , and train your brain to do more.

1. Dance Your Heart Out

Did you know that dancing has a positive impact on neural processing, possibly developing new neural pathways to go around dopamine-depleted blockages in the brain?

This means that if you engage in ballet or another form of structured dance, doing so may facilitate convergent thinking . In other words, it may help you find a single, appropriate answer to a problem. If you need help with divergent thinking (finding multiple answers to a problem), engaging in more improvised types of dance such as hip-hop or tap might just do the trick.

2. Work out Your Brain with Logic Puzzles or Games

The winning strategy when playing chess, Sudoku, a Rubik’s Cube, or other brain-boosting games is actually to work the problem backward, not forward. The same strategy can apply to realistic strategic-thinking situations.

To build up your brain muscle and develop new problem-solving techniques, practice some logic puzzles and other games .

3. Get a Good Night’s Sleep

More than any other sleeping or awake state, Rapid Eye Movement (REM) sleep directly enhances creative processing in the brain. REM sleep helps “stimulate associative networks, allowing the brain to make new and useful associations between unrelated ideas” and are “not due to selective memory enhancements” such as memory consolidation, which occurs when awake.

4. Work out to Some Tunes

A study of cardiac rehabilitation patients tested verbal fluency after exercising with and without music. Results showed that when they listened to music while working out, participants more than doubled their scores on verbal fluency tests in contrast to when they worked out in silence. According to the study’s lead author, “The combination of music and exercise may stimulate and increase cognitive arousal while helping to organize the cognitive output.”

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5. keep an “idea journal” with you, 6. participate in yoga.

The powerful combination of body awareness, breathing, and meditation that is required during yoga practice has been shown to significantly raise cognitive test scores. Other results from a University of Illinois study include shorter reaction times, more accuracy, and increased attention.

7. Eat Some Cheerios (And Then Think About It)

The Cheerios Effect is the name physicists have given to the event that happens when the last few cheerios in a bowl always cling to each other. The cause of this occurrence is surface tension.

The takeaway is that when it comes to experiencing tension while trying to solve a problem, cling to those around you. Rely on others’ experiences and ideas, even those from different career fields. Draw connections. Brainstorm. Work together to get the job done.

8. Use Mind Maps to Help Visualize the Problem

Mind Maps , a visual snapshot of a problem and its possible solutions, can help focus the mind, stimulate the brain, increase the capacity for creative thinking, and generate more ideas for solutions.

Make a Mind Map by drawing your problem as the central idea. Add “main branches” consisting of all the reasons for the problem. Use “sub-branches” to explore further details.

Next, make a separate Mind Map of all possible solutions to the central problem. Add “main branches” showing all the ways that your problem can be solved, such as colleagues that can help, techniques you can apply, and other resources you can use. Add “sub-branches” to further explore the details. Make a final branch with the most suitable solution for the main problem. Use “sub-branches” for details.

Through this exercise, you should be able to see which “branch” or option is the most practical, time-saving, and cost-effective problem solving method .

9. Create “Psychological Distance”

What is psychological distance? According to the construal level theory (CLT), it’s “anything that we do not experience as occurring now, here, and to ourselves.” Some examples include taking another person’s perspective or thinking of the problem as unlikely.

Scientists have shown that by increasing the mental distance between us and our problem, we’ll have an increase in creative solutions. This happens because thinking more abstractly helps us form unexpected connections between seemingly unrelated concepts, thus allowing our minds to increase its problem solving capacity.

10. Play Some Soccer

A link has been found between our brain’s “executive functions” and sports success . When in action, our brains are quickly multitasking between moving, anticipating, strategizing, reacting, and performing. Doing all these things at once requires an enormous amount of brain activity.

This can be related to our working world when we plan, reason, monitor our actions and problem solve all at once. Therefore, it may be concluded that when you play soccer or any other fast-moving sport, you’re rewiring your brain to be quicker at thinking, processing, and reacting to problems.

To learn more about how to develop your problem-solving and decision making capabilities or to receive training on applied strategic thinking skills , contact CMOE today!

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How to improve your problem solving skills and build effective problem solving strategies

how can i improve my logical thinking and problem solving skills

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Effective problem solving is all about using the right process and following a plan tailored to the issue at hand. Recognizing your team or organization has an issue isn’t enough to come up with effective problem solving strategies. 

To truly understand a problem and develop appropriate solutions, you will want to follow a solid process, follow the necessary problem solving steps, and bring all of your problem solving skills to the table.  

We’ll first guide you through the seven step problem solving process you and your team can use to effectively solve complex business challenges. We’ll also look at what problem solving strategies you can employ with your team when looking for a way to approach the process. We’ll then discuss the problem solving skills you need to be more effective at solving problems, complete with an activity from the SessionLab library you can use to develop that skill in your team.

Let’s get to it! 

What is a problem solving process?

  • What are the problem solving steps I need to follow?

Problem solving strategies

What skills do i need to be an effective problem solver, how can i improve my problem solving skills.

Solving problems is like baking a cake. You can go straight into the kitchen without a recipe or the right ingredients and do your best, but the end result is unlikely to be very tasty!

Using a process to bake a cake allows you to use the best ingredients without waste, collect the right tools, account for allergies, decide whether it is a birthday or wedding cake, and then bake efficiently and on time. The result is a better cake that is fit for purpose, tastes better and has created less mess in the kitchen. Also, it should have chocolate sprinkles. Having a step by step process to solve organizational problems allows you to go through each stage methodically and ensure you are trying to solve the right problems and select the most appropriate, effective solutions.

What are the problem solving steps I need to follow? 

All problem solving processes go through a number of steps in order to move from identifying a problem to resolving it.

Depending on your problem solving model and who you ask, there can be anything between four and nine problem solving steps you should follow in order to find the right solution. Whatever framework you and your group use, there are some key items that should be addressed in order to have an effective process.

We’ve looked at problem solving processes from sources such as the American Society for Quality and their four step approach , and Mediate ‘s six step process. By reflecting on those and our own problem solving processes, we’ve come up with a sequence of seven problem solving steps we feel best covers everything you need in order to effectively solve problems.

seven step problem solving process

1. Problem identification 

The first stage of any problem solving process is to identify the problem or problems you might want to solve. Effective problem solving strategies always begin by allowing a group scope to articulate what they believe the problem to be and then coming to some consensus over which problem they approach first. Problem solving activities used at this stage often have a focus on creating frank, open discussion so that potential problems can be brought to the surface.

2. Problem analysis 

Though this step is not a million miles from problem identification, problem analysis deserves to be considered separately. It can often be an overlooked part of the process and is instrumental when it comes to developing effective solutions.

The process of problem analysis means ensuring that the problem you are seeking to solve is the right problem . As part of this stage, you may look deeper and try to find the root cause of a specific problem at a team or organizational level.

Remember that problem solving strategies should not only be focused on putting out fires in the short term but developing long term solutions that deal with the root cause of organizational challenges. 

Whatever your approach, analyzing a problem is crucial in being able to select an appropriate solution and the problem solving skills deployed in this stage are beneficial for the rest of the process and ensuring the solutions you create are fit for purpose.

3. Solution generation

Once your group has nailed down the particulars of the problem you wish to solve, you want to encourage a free flow of ideas connecting to solving that problem. This can take the form of problem solving games that encourage creative thinking or problem solving activities designed to produce working prototypes of possible solutions. 

The key to ensuring the success of this stage of the problem solving process is to encourage quick, creative thinking and create an open space where all ideas are considered. The best solutions can come from unlikely places and by using problem solving techniques that celebrate invention, you might come up with solution gold. 

4. Solution development

No solution is likely to be perfect right out of the gate. It’s important to discuss and develop the solutions your group has come up with over the course of following the previous problem solving steps in order to arrive at the best possible solution. Problem solving games used in this stage involve lots of critical thinking, measuring potential effort and impact, and looking at possible solutions analytically. 

During this stage, you will often ask your team to iterate and improve upon your frontrunning solutions and develop them further. Remember that problem solving strategies always benefit from a multitude of voices and opinions, and not to let ego get involved when it comes to choosing which solutions to develop and take further.

Finding the best solution is the goal of all problem solving workshops and here is the place to ensure that your solution is well thought out, sufficiently robust and fit for purpose. 

5. Decision making 

Nearly there! Once your group has reached consensus and selected a solution that applies to the problem at hand you have some decisions to make. You will want to work on allocating ownership of the project, figure out who will do what, how the success of the solution will be measured and decide the next course of action.

The decision making stage is a part of the problem solving process that can get missed or taken as for granted. Fail to properly allocate roles and plan out how a solution will actually be implemented and it less likely to be successful in solving the problem.

Have clear accountabilities, actions, timeframes, and follow-ups. Make these decisions and set clear next-steps in the problem solving workshop so that everyone is aligned and you can move forward effectively as a group. 

Ensuring that you plan for the roll-out of a solution is one of the most important problem solving steps. Without adequate planning or oversight, it can prove impossible to measure success or iterate further if the problem was not solved. 

6. Solution implementation 

This is what we were waiting for! All problem solving strategies have the end goal of implementing a solution and solving a problem in mind. 

Remember that in order for any solution to be successful, you need to help your group through all of the previous problem solving steps thoughtfully. Only then can you ensure that you are solving the right problem but also that you have developed the correct solution and can then successfully implement and measure the impact of that solution.

Project management and communication skills are key here – your solution may need to adjust when out in the wild or you might discover new challenges along the way.

7. Solution evaluation 

So you and your team developed a great solution to a problem and have a gut feeling its been solved. Work done, right? Wrong. All problem solving strategies benefit from evaluation, consideration, and feedback. You might find that the solution does not work for everyone, might create new problems, or is potentially so successful that you will want to roll it out to larger teams or as part of other initiatives. 

None of that is possible without taking the time to evaluate the success of the solution you developed in your problem solving model and adjust if necessary.

Remember that the problem solving process is often iterative and it can be common to not solve complex issues on the first try. Even when this is the case, you and your team will have generated learning that will be important for future problem solving workshops or in other parts of the organization. 

It’s worth underlining how important record keeping is throughout the problem solving process. If a solution didn’t work, you need to have the data and records to see why that was the case. If you go back to the drawing board, notes from the previous workshop can help save time. Data and insight is invaluable at every stage of the problem solving process and this one is no different.

Problem solving workshops made easy

how can i improve my logical thinking and problem solving skills

Problem solving strategies are methods of approaching and facilitating the process of problem-solving with a set of techniques , actions, and processes. Different strategies are more effective if you are trying to solve broad problems such as achieving higher growth versus more focused problems like, how do we improve our customer onboarding process?

Broadly, the problem solving steps outlined above should be included in any problem solving strategy though choosing where to focus your time and what approaches should be taken is where they begin to differ. You might find that some strategies ask for the problem identification to be done prior to the session or that everything happens in the course of a one day workshop.

The key similarity is that all good problem solving strategies are structured and designed. Four hours of open discussion is never going to be as productive as a four-hour workshop designed to lead a group through a problem solving process.

Good problem solving strategies are tailored to the team, organization and problem you will be attempting to solve. Here are some example problem solving strategies you can learn from or use to get started.

Use a workshop to lead a team through a group process

Often, the first step to solving problems or organizational challenges is bringing a group together effectively. Most teams have the tools, knowledge, and expertise necessary to solve their challenges – they just need some guidance in how to use leverage those skills and a structure and format that allows people to focus their energies.

Facilitated workshops are one of the most effective ways of solving problems of any scale. By designing and planning your workshop carefully, you can tailor the approach and scope to best fit the needs of your team and organization. 

Problem solving workshop

  • Creating a bespoke, tailored process
  • Tackling problems of any size
  • Building in-house workshop ability and encouraging their use

Workshops are an effective strategy for solving problems. By using tried and test facilitation techniques and methods, you can design and deliver a workshop that is perfectly suited to the unique variables of your organization. You may only have the capacity for a half-day workshop and so need a problem solving process to match. 

By using our session planner tool and importing methods from our library of 700+ facilitation techniques, you can create the right problem solving workshop for your team. It might be that you want to encourage creative thinking or look at things from a new angle to unblock your groups approach to problem solving. By tailoring your workshop design to the purpose, you can help ensure great results.

One of the main benefits of a workshop is the structured approach to problem solving. Not only does this mean that the workshop itself will be successful, but many of the methods and techniques will help your team improve their working processes outside of the workshop. 

We believe that workshops are one of the best tools you can use to improve the way your team works together. Start with a problem solving workshop and then see what team building, culture or design workshops can do for your organization!

Run a design sprint

Great for: 

  • aligning large, multi-discipline teams
  • quickly designing and testing solutions
  • tackling large, complex organizational challenges and breaking them down into smaller tasks

By using design thinking principles and methods, a design sprint is a great way of identifying, prioritizing and prototyping solutions to long term challenges that can help solve major organizational problems with quick action and measurable results.

Some familiarity with design thinking is useful, though not integral, and this strategy can really help a team align if there is some discussion around which problems should be approached first. 

The stage-based structure of the design sprint is also very useful for teams new to design thinking.  The inspiration phase, where you look to competitors that have solved your problem, and the rapid prototyping and testing phases are great for introducing new concepts that will benefit a team in all their future work. 

It can be common for teams to look inward for solutions and so looking to the market for solutions you can iterate on can be very productive. Instilling an agile prototyping and testing mindset can also be great when helping teams move forwards – generating and testing solutions quickly can help save time in the long run and is also pretty exciting!

Break problems down into smaller issues

Organizational challenges and problems are often complicated and large scale in nature. Sometimes, trying to resolve such an issue in one swoop is simply unachievable or overwhelming. Try breaking down such problems into smaller issues that you can work on step by step. You may not be able to solve the problem of churning customers off the bat, but you can work with your team to identify smaller effort but high impact elements and work on those first.

This problem solving strategy can help a team generate momentum, prioritize and get some easy wins. It’s also a great strategy to employ with teams who are just beginning to learn how to approach the problem solving process. If you want some insight into a way to employ this strategy, we recommend looking at our design sprint template below!

Use guiding frameworks or try new methodologies

Some problems are best solved by introducing a major shift in perspective or by using new methodologies that encourage your team to think differently.

Props and tools such as Methodkit , which uses a card-based toolkit for facilitation, or Lego Serious Play can be great ways to engage your team and find an inclusive, democratic problem solving strategy. Remember that play and creativity are great tools for achieving change and whatever the challenge, engaging your participants can be very effective where other strategies may have failed.

LEGO Serious Play

  • Improving core problem solving skills
  • Thinking outside of the box
  • Encouraging creative solutions

LEGO Serious Play is a problem solving methodology designed to get participants thinking differently by using 3D models and kinesthetic learning styles. By physically building LEGO models based on questions and exercises, participants are encouraged to think outside of the box and create their own responses. 

Collaborate LEGO Serious Play exercises are also used to encourage communication and build problem solving skills in a group. By using this problem solving process, you can often help different kinds of learners and personality types contribute and unblock organizational problems with creative thinking. 

Problem solving strategies like LEGO Serious Play are super effective at helping a team solve more skills-based problems such as communication between teams or a lack of creative thinking. Some problems are not suited to LEGO Serious Play and require a different problem solving strategy.

Card Decks and Method Kits

  • New facilitators or non-facilitators 
  • Approaching difficult subjects with a simple, creative framework
  • Engaging those with varied learning styles

Card decks and method kids are great tools for those new to facilitation or for whom facilitation is not the primary role. Card decks such as the emotional culture deck can be used for complete workshops and in many cases, can be used right out of the box. Methodkit has a variety of kits designed for scenarios ranging from personal development through to personas and global challenges so you can find the right deck for your particular needs.

Having an easy to use framework that encourages creativity or a new approach can take some of the friction or planning difficulties out of the workshop process and energize a team in any setting. Simplicity is the key with these methods. By ensuring everyone on your team can get involved and engage with the process as quickly as possible can really contribute to the success of your problem solving strategy.

Source external advice

Looking to peers, experts and external facilitators can be a great way of approaching the problem solving process. Your team may not have the necessary expertise, insights of experience to tackle some issues, or you might simply benefit from a fresh perspective. Some problems may require bringing together an entire team, and coaching managers or team members individually might be the right approach. Remember that not all problems are best resolved in the same manner.

If you’re a solo entrepreneur, peer groups, coaches and mentors can also be invaluable at not only solving specific business problems, but in providing a support network for resolving future challenges. One great approach is to join a Mastermind Group and link up with like-minded individuals and all grow together. Remember that however you approach the sourcing of external advice, do so thoughtfully, respectfully and honestly. Reciprocate where you can and prepare to be surprised by just how kind and helpful your peers can be!

Mastermind Group

  • Solo entrepreneurs or small teams with low capacity
  • Peer learning and gaining outside expertise
  • Getting multiple external points of view quickly

Problem solving in large organizations with lots of skilled team members is one thing, but how about if you work for yourself or in a very small team without the capacity to get the most from a design sprint or LEGO Serious Play session? 

A mastermind group – sometimes known as a peer advisory board – is where a group of people come together to support one another in their own goals, challenges, and businesses. Each participant comes to the group with their own purpose and the other members of the group will help them create solutions, brainstorm ideas, and support one another. 

Mastermind groups are very effective in creating an energized, supportive atmosphere that can deliver meaningful results. Learning from peers from outside of your organization or industry can really help unlock new ways of thinking and drive growth. Access to the experience and skills of your peers can be invaluable in helping fill the gaps in your own ability, particularly in young companies.

A mastermind group is a great solution for solo entrepreneurs, small teams, or for organizations that feel that external expertise or fresh perspectives will be beneficial for them. It is worth noting that Mastermind groups are often only as good as the participants and what they can bring to the group. Participants need to be committed, engaged and understand how to work in this context. 

Coaching and mentoring

  • Focused learning and development
  • Filling skills gaps
  • Working on a range of challenges over time

Receiving advice from a business coach or building a mentor/mentee relationship can be an effective way of resolving certain challenges. The one-to-one format of most coaching and mentor relationships can really help solve the challenges those individuals are having and benefit the organization as a result.

A great mentor can be invaluable when it comes to spotting potential problems before they arise and coming to understand a mentee very well has a host of other business benefits. You might run an internal mentorship program to help develop your team’s problem solving skills and strategies or as part of a large learning and development program. External coaches can also be an important part of your problem solving strategy, filling skills gaps for your management team or helping with specific business issues. 

Now we’ve explored the problem solving process and the steps you will want to go through in order to have an effective session, let’s look at the skills you and your team need to be more effective problem solvers.

Problem solving skills are highly sought after, whatever industry or team you work in. Organizations are keen to employ people who are able to approach problems thoughtfully and find strong, realistic solutions. Whether you are a facilitator , a team leader or a developer, being an effective problem solver is a skill you’ll want to develop.

Problem solving skills form a whole suite of techniques and approaches that an individual uses to not only identify problems but to discuss them productively before then developing appropriate solutions.

Here are some of the most important problem solving skills everyone from executives to junior staff members should learn. We’ve also included an activity or exercise from the SessionLab library that can help you and your team develop that skill. 

If you’re running a workshop or training session to try and improve problem solving skills in your team, try using these methods to supercharge your process!

Problem solving skills checklist

Active listening

Active listening is one of the most important skills anyone who works with people can possess. In short, active listening is a technique used to not only better understand what is being said by an individual, but also to be more aware of the underlying message the speaker is trying to convey. When it comes to problem solving, active listening is integral for understanding the position of every participant and to clarify the challenges, ideas and solutions they bring to the table.

Some active listening skills include:

  • Paying complete attention to the speaker.
  • Removing distractions.
  • Avoid interruption.
  • Taking the time to fully understand before preparing a rebuttal.
  • Responding respectfully and appropriately.
  • Demonstrate attentiveness and positivity with an open posture, making eye contact with the speaker, smiling and nodding if appropriate. Show that you are listening and encourage them to continue.
  • Be aware of and respectful of feelings. Judge the situation and respond appropriately. You can disagree without being disrespectful.   
  • Observe body language. 
  • Paraphrase what was said in your own words, either mentally or verbally.
  • Remain neutral. 
  • Reflect and take a moment before responding.
  • Ask deeper questions based on what is said and clarify points where necessary.   
Active Listening   #hyperisland   #skills   #active listening   #remote-friendly   This activity supports participants to reflect on a question and generate their own solutions using simple principles of active listening and peer coaching. It’s an excellent introduction to active listening but can also be used with groups that are already familiar with it. Participants work in groups of three and take turns being: “the subject”, the listener, and the observer.

Analytical skills

All problem solving models require strong analytical skills, particularly during the beginning of the process and when it comes to analyzing how solutions have performed.

Analytical skills are primarily focused on performing an effective analysis by collecting, studying and parsing data related to a problem or opportunity. 

It often involves spotting patterns, being able to see things from different perspectives and using observable facts and data to make suggestions or produce insight. 

Analytical skills are also important at every stage of the problem solving process and by having these skills, you can ensure that any ideas or solutions you create or backed up analytically and have been sufficiently thought out.

Nine Whys   #innovation   #issue analysis   #liberating structures   With breathtaking simplicity, you can rapidly clarify for individuals and a group what is essentially important in their work. You can quickly reveal when a compelling purpose is missing in a gathering and avoid moving forward without clarity. When a group discovers an unambiguous shared purpose, more freedom and more responsibility are unleashed. You have laid the foundation for spreading and scaling innovations with fidelity.

Collaboration

Trying to solve problems on your own is difficult. Being able to collaborate effectively, with a free exchange of ideas, to delegate and be a productive member of a team is hugely important to all problem solving strategies.

Remember that whatever your role, collaboration is integral, and in a problem solving process, you are all working together to find the best solution for everyone. 

Marshmallow challenge with debriefing   #teamwork   #team   #leadership   #collaboration   In eighteen minutes, teams must build the tallest free-standing structure out of 20 sticks of spaghetti, one yard of tape, one yard of string, and one marshmallow. The marshmallow needs to be on top. The Marshmallow Challenge was developed by Tom Wujec, who has done the activity with hundreds of groups around the world. Visit the Marshmallow Challenge website for more information. This version has an extra debriefing question added with sample questions focusing on roles within the team.

Communication  

Being an effective communicator means being empathetic, clear and succinct, asking the right questions, and demonstrating active listening skills throughout any discussion or meeting. 

In a problem solving setting, you need to communicate well in order to progress through each stage of the process effectively. As a team leader, it may also fall to you to facilitate communication between parties who may not see eye to eye. Effective communication also means helping others to express themselves and be heard in a group.

Bus Trip   #feedback   #communication   #appreciation   #closing   #thiagi   #team   This is one of my favourite feedback games. I use Bus Trip at the end of a training session or a meeting, and I use it all the time. The game creates a massive amount of energy with lots of smiles, laughs, and sometimes even a teardrop or two.

Creative problem solving skills can be some of the best tools in your arsenal. Thinking creatively, being able to generate lots of ideas and come up with out of the box solutions is useful at every step of the process. 

The kinds of problems you will likely discuss in a problem solving workshop are often difficult to solve, and by approaching things in a fresh, creative manner, you can often create more innovative solutions.

Having practical creative skills is also a boon when it comes to problem solving. If you can help create quality design sketches and prototypes in record time, it can help bring a team to alignment more quickly or provide a base for further iteration.

The paper clip method   #sharing   #creativity   #warm up   #idea generation   #brainstorming   The power of brainstorming. A training for project leaders, creativity training, and to catalyse getting new solutions.

Critical thinking

Critical thinking is one of the fundamental problem solving skills you’ll want to develop when working on developing solutions. Critical thinking is the ability to analyze, rationalize and evaluate while being aware of personal bias, outlying factors and remaining open-minded.

Defining and analyzing problems without deploying critical thinking skills can mean you and your team go down the wrong path. Developing solutions to complex issues requires critical thinking too – ensuring your team considers all possibilities and rationally evaluating them. 

Agreement-Certainty Matrix   #issue analysis   #liberating structures   #problem solving   You can help individuals or groups avoid the frequent mistake of trying to solve a problem with methods that are not adapted to the nature of their challenge. The combination of two questions makes it possible to easily sort challenges into four categories: simple, complicated, complex , and chaotic .  A problem is simple when it can be solved reliably with practices that are easy to duplicate.  It is complicated when experts are required to devise a sophisticated solution that will yield the desired results predictably.  A problem is complex when there are several valid ways to proceed but outcomes are not predictable in detail.  Chaotic is when the context is too turbulent to identify a path forward.  A loose analogy may be used to describe these differences: simple is like following a recipe, complicated like sending a rocket to the moon, complex like raising a child, and chaotic is like the game “Pin the Tail on the Donkey.”  The Liberating Structures Matching Matrix in Chapter 5 can be used as the first step to clarify the nature of a challenge and avoid the mismatches between problems and solutions that are frequently at the root of chronic, recurring problems.

Data analysis 

Though it shares lots of space with general analytical skills, data analysis skills are something you want to cultivate in their own right in order to be an effective problem solver.

Being good at data analysis doesn’t just mean being able to find insights from data, but also selecting the appropriate data for a given issue, interpreting it effectively and knowing how to model and present that data. Depending on the problem at hand, it might also include a working knowledge of specific data analysis tools and procedures. 

Having a solid grasp of data analysis techniques is useful if you’re leading a problem solving workshop but if you’re not an expert, don’t worry. Bring people into the group who has this skill set and help your team be more effective as a result.

Decision making

All problems need a solution and all solutions require that someone make the decision to implement them. Without strong decision making skills, teams can become bogged down in discussion and less effective as a result. 

Making decisions is a key part of the problem solving process. It’s important to remember that decision making is not restricted to the leadership team. Every staff member makes decisions every day and developing these skills ensures that your team is able to solve problems at any scale. Remember that making decisions does not mean leaping to the first solution but weighing up the options and coming to an informed, well thought out solution to any given problem that works for the whole team.

Lightning Decision Jam (LDJ)   #action   #decision making   #problem solving   #issue analysis   #innovation   #design   #remote-friendly   The problem with anything that requires creative thinking is that it’s easy to get lost—lose focus and fall into the trap of having useless, open-ended, unstructured discussions. Here’s the most effective solution I’ve found: Replace all open, unstructured discussion with a clear process. What to use this exercise for: Anything which requires a group of people to make decisions, solve problems or discuss challenges. It’s always good to frame an LDJ session with a broad topic, here are some examples: The conversion flow of our checkout Our internal design process How we organise events Keeping up with our competition Improving sales flow

Dependability

Most complex organizational problems require multiple people to be involved in delivering the solution. Ensuring that the team and organization can depend on you to take the necessary actions and communicate where necessary is key to ensuring problems are solved effectively.

Being dependable also means working to deadlines and to brief. It is often a matter of creating trust in a team so that everyone can depend on one another to complete the agreed actions in the agreed time frame so that the team can move forward together. Being undependable can create problems of friction and can limit the effectiveness of your solutions so be sure to bear this in mind throughout a project. 

Team Purpose & Culture   #team   #hyperisland   #culture   #remote-friendly   This is an essential process designed to help teams define their purpose (why they exist) and their culture (how they work together to achieve that purpose). Defining these two things will help any team to be more focused and aligned. With support of tangible examples from other companies, the team members work as individuals and a group to codify the way they work together. The goal is a visual manifestation of both the purpose and culture that can be put up in the team’s work space.

Emotional intelligence

Emotional intelligence is an important skill for any successful team member, whether communicating internally or with clients or users. In the problem solving process, emotional intelligence means being attuned to how people are feeling and thinking, communicating effectively and being self-aware of what you bring to a room. 

There are often differences of opinion when working through problem solving processes, and it can be easy to let things become impassioned or combative. Developing your emotional intelligence means being empathetic to your colleagues and managing your own emotions throughout the problem and solution process. Be kind, be thoughtful and put your points across care and attention. 

Being emotionally intelligent is a skill for life and by deploying it at work, you can not only work efficiently but empathetically. Check out the emotional culture workshop template for more!

Facilitation

As we’ve clarified in our facilitation skills post, facilitation is the art of leading people through processes towards agreed-upon objectives in a manner that encourages participation, ownership, and creativity by all those involved. While facilitation is a set of interrelated skills in itself, the broad definition of facilitation can be invaluable when it comes to problem solving. Leading a team through a problem solving process is made more effective if you improve and utilize facilitation skills – whether you’re a manager, team leader or external stakeholder.

The Six Thinking Hats   #creative thinking   #meeting facilitation   #problem solving   #issue resolution   #idea generation   #conflict resolution   The Six Thinking Hats are used by individuals and groups to separate out conflicting styles of thinking. They enable and encourage a group of people to think constructively together in exploring and implementing change, rather than using argument to fight over who is right and who is wrong.

Flexibility 

Being flexible is a vital skill when it comes to problem solving. This does not mean immediately bowing to pressure or changing your opinion quickly: instead, being flexible is all about seeing things from new perspectives, receiving new information and factoring it into your thought process.

Flexibility is also important when it comes to rolling out solutions. It might be that other organizational projects have greater priority or require the same resources as your chosen solution. Being flexible means understanding needs and challenges across the team and being open to shifting or arranging your own schedule as necessary. Again, this does not mean immediately making way for other projects. It’s about articulating your own needs, understanding the needs of others and being able to come to a meaningful compromise.

The Creativity Dice   #creativity   #problem solving   #thiagi   #issue analysis   Too much linear thinking is hazardous to creative problem solving. To be creative, you should approach the problem (or the opportunity) from different points of view. You should leave a thought hanging in mid-air and move to another. This skipping around prevents premature closure and lets your brain incubate one line of thought while you consciously pursue another.

Working in any group can lead to unconscious elements of groupthink or situations in which you may not wish to be entirely honest. Disagreeing with the opinions of the executive team or wishing to save the feelings of a coworker can be tricky to navigate, but being honest is absolutely vital when to comes to developing effective solutions and ensuring your voice is heard. 

Remember that being honest does not mean being brutally candid. You can deliver your honest feedback and opinions thoughtfully and without creating friction by using other skills such as emotional intelligence. 

Explore your Values   #hyperisland   #skills   #values   #remote-friendly   Your Values is an exercise for participants to explore what their most important values are. It’s done in an intuitive and rapid way to encourage participants to follow their intuitive feeling rather than over-thinking and finding the “correct” values. It is a good exercise to use to initiate reflection and dialogue around personal values.

Initiative 

The problem solving process is multi-faceted and requires different approaches at certain points of the process. Taking initiative to bring problems to the attention of the team, collect data or lead the solution creating process is always valuable. You might even roadtest your own small scale solutions or brainstorm before a session. Taking initiative is particularly effective if you have good deal of knowledge in that area or have ownership of a particular project and want to get things kickstarted.

That said, be sure to remember to honor the process and work in service of the team. If you are asked to own one part of the problem solving process and you don’t complete that task because your initiative leads you to work on something else, that’s not an effective method of solving business challenges.

15% Solutions   #action   #liberating structures   #remote-friendly   You can reveal the actions, however small, that everyone can do immediately. At a minimum, these will create momentum, and that may make a BIG difference.  15% Solutions show that there is no reason to wait around, feel powerless, or fearful. They help people pick it up a level. They get individuals and the group to focus on what is within their discretion instead of what they cannot change.  With a very simple question, you can flip the conversation to what can be done and find solutions to big problems that are often distributed widely in places not known in advance. Shifting a few grains of sand may trigger a landslide and change the whole landscape.

Impartiality

A particularly useful problem solving skill for product owners or managers is the ability to remain impartial throughout much of the process. In practice, this means treating all points of view and ideas brought forward in a meeting equally and ensuring that your own areas of interest or ownership are not favored over others. 

There may be a stage in the process where a decision maker has to weigh the cost and ROI of possible solutions against the company roadmap though even then, ensuring that the decision made is based on merit and not personal opinion. 

Empathy map   #frame insights   #create   #design   #issue analysis   An empathy map is a tool to help a design team to empathize with the people they are designing for. You can make an empathy map for a group of people or for a persona. To be used after doing personas when more insights are needed.

Being a good leader means getting a team aligned, energized and focused around a common goal. In the problem solving process, strong leadership helps ensure that the process is efficient, that any conflicts are resolved and that a team is managed in the direction of success.

It’s common for managers or executives to assume this role in a problem solving workshop, though it’s important that the leader maintains impartiality and does not bulldoze the group in a particular direction. Remember that good leadership means working in service of the purpose and team and ensuring the workshop is a safe space for employees of any level to contribute. Take a look at our leadership games and activities post for more exercises and methods to help improve leadership in your organization.

Leadership Pizza   #leadership   #team   #remote-friendly   This leadership development activity offers a self-assessment framework for people to first identify what skills, attributes and attitudes they find important for effective leadership, and then assess their own development and initiate goal setting.

In the context of problem solving, mediation is important in keeping a team engaged, happy and free of conflict. When leading or facilitating a problem solving workshop, you are likely to run into differences of opinion. Depending on the nature of the problem, certain issues may be brought up that are emotive in nature. 

Being an effective mediator means helping those people on either side of such a divide are heard, listen to one another and encouraged to find common ground and a resolution. Mediating skills are useful for leaders and managers in many situations and the problem solving process is no different.

Conflict Responses   #hyperisland   #team   #issue resolution   A workshop for a team to reflect on past conflicts, and use them to generate guidelines for effective conflict handling. The workshop uses the Thomas-Killman model of conflict responses to frame a reflective discussion. Use it to open up a discussion around conflict with a team.

Planning 

Solving organizational problems is much more effective when following a process or problem solving model. Planning skills are vital in order to structure, deliver and follow-through on a problem solving workshop and ensure your solutions are intelligently deployed.

Planning skills include the ability to organize tasks and a team, plan and design the process and take into account any potential challenges. Taking the time to plan carefully can save time and frustration later in the process and is valuable for ensuring a team is positioned for success.

3 Action Steps   #hyperisland   #action   #remote-friendly   This is a small-scale strategic planning session that helps groups and individuals to take action toward a desired change. It is often used at the end of a workshop or programme. The group discusses and agrees on a vision, then creates some action steps that will lead them towards that vision. The scope of the challenge is also defined, through discussion of the helpful and harmful factors influencing the group.

Prioritization

As organisations grow, the scale and variation of problems they face multiplies. Your team or is likely to face numerous challenges in different areas and so having the skills to analyze and prioritize becomes very important, particularly for those in leadership roles.

A thorough problem solving process is likely to deliver multiple solutions and you may have several different problems you wish to solve simultaneously. Prioritization is the ability to measure the importance, value, and effectiveness of those possible solutions and choose which to enact and in what order. The process of prioritization is integral in ensuring the biggest challenges are addressed with the most impactful solutions.

Impact and Effort Matrix   #gamestorming   #decision making   #action   #remote-friendly   In this decision-making exercise, possible actions are mapped based on two factors: effort required to implement and potential impact. Categorizing ideas along these lines is a useful technique in decision making, as it obliges contributors to balance and evaluate suggested actions before committing to them.

Project management

Some problem solving skills are utilized in a workshop or ideation phases, while others come in useful when it comes to decision making. Overseeing an entire problem solving process and ensuring its success requires strong project management skills. 

While project management incorporates many of the other skills listed here, it is important to note the distinction of considering all of the factors of a project and managing them successfully. Being able to negotiate with stakeholders, manage tasks, time and people, consider costs and ROI, and tie everything together is massively helpful when going through the problem solving process. 

Record keeping

Working out meaningful solutions to organizational challenges is only one part of the process.  Thoughtfully documenting and keeping records of each problem solving step for future consultation is important in ensuring efficiency and meaningful change. 

For example, some problems may be lower priority than others but can be revisited in the future. If the team has ideated on solutions and found some are not up to the task, record those so you can rule them out and avoiding repeating work. Keeping records of the process also helps you improve and refine your problem solving model next time around!

Personal Kanban   #gamestorming   #action   #agile   #project planning   Personal Kanban is a tool for organizing your work to be more efficient and productive. It is based on agile methods and principles.

Research skills

Conducting research to support both the identification of problems and the development of appropriate solutions is important for an effective process. Knowing where to go to collect research, how to conduct research efficiently, and identifying pieces of research are relevant are all things a good researcher can do well. 

In larger groups, not everyone has to demonstrate this ability in order for a problem solving workshop to be effective. That said, having people with research skills involved in the process, particularly if they have existing area knowledge, can help ensure the solutions that are developed with data that supports their intention. Remember that being able to deliver the results of research efficiently and in a way the team can easily understand is also important. The best data in the world is only as effective as how it is delivered and interpreted.

Customer experience map   #ideation   #concepts   #research   #design   #issue analysis   #remote-friendly   Customer experience mapping is a method of documenting and visualizing the experience a customer has as they use the product or service. It also maps out their responses to their experiences. To be used when there is a solution (even in a conceptual stage) that can be analyzed.

Risk management

Managing risk is an often overlooked part of the problem solving process. Solutions are often developed with the intention of reducing exposure to risk or solving issues that create risk but sometimes, great solutions are more experimental in nature and as such, deploying them needs to be carefully considered. 

Managing risk means acknowledging that there may be risks associated with more out of the box solutions or trying new things, but that this must be measured against the possible benefits and other organizational factors. 

Be informed, get the right data and stakeholders in the room and you can appropriately factor risk into your decision making process. 

Decisions, Decisions…   #communication   #decision making   #thiagi   #action   #issue analysis   When it comes to decision-making, why are some of us more prone to take risks while others are risk-averse? One explanation might be the way the decision and options were presented.  This exercise, based on Kahneman and Tversky’s classic study , illustrates how the framing effect influences our judgement and our ability to make decisions . The participants are divided into two groups. Both groups are presented with the same problem and two alternative programs for solving them. The two programs both have the same consequences but are presented differently. The debriefing discussion examines how the framing of the program impacted the participant’s decision.

Team-building 

No single person is as good at problem solving as a team. Building an effective team and helping them come together around a common purpose is one of the most important problem solving skills, doubly so for leaders. By bringing a team together and helping them work efficiently, you pave the way for team ownership of a problem and the development of effective solutions. 

In a problem solving workshop, it can be tempting to jump right into the deep end, though taking the time to break the ice, energize the team and align them with a game or exercise will pay off over the course of the day.

Remember that you will likely go through the problem solving process multiple times over an organization’s lifespan and building a strong team culture will make future problem solving more effective. It’s also great to work with people you know, trust and have fun with. Working on team building in and out of the problem solving process is a hallmark of successful teams that can work together to solve business problems.

9 Dimensions Team Building Activity   #ice breaker   #teambuilding   #team   #remote-friendly   9 Dimensions is a powerful activity designed to build relationships and trust among team members. There are 2 variations of this icebreaker. The first version is for teams who want to get to know each other better. The second version is for teams who want to explore how they are working together as a team.

Time management 

The problem solving process is designed to lead a team from identifying a problem through to delivering a solution and evaluating its effectiveness. Without effective time management skills or timeboxing of tasks, it can be easy for a team to get bogged down or be inefficient.

By using a problem solving model and carefully designing your workshop, you can allocate time efficiently and trust that the process will deliver the results you need in a good timeframe.

Time management also comes into play when it comes to rolling out solutions, particularly those that are experimental in nature. Having a clear timeframe for implementing and evaluating solutions is vital for ensuring their success and being able to pivot if necessary.

Improving your skills at problem solving is often a career-long pursuit though there are methods you can use to make the learning process more efficient and to supercharge your problem solving skillset.

Remember that the skills you need to be a great problem solver have a large overlap with those skills you need to be effective in any role. Investing time and effort to develop your active listening or critical thinking skills is valuable in any context. Here are 7 ways to improve your problem solving skills.

Share best practices

Remember that your team is an excellent source of skills, wisdom, and techniques and that you should all take advantage of one another where possible. Best practices that one team has for solving problems, conducting research or making decisions should be shared across the organization. If you have in-house staff that have done active listening training or are data analysis pros, have them lead a training session. 

Your team is one of your best resources. Create space and internal processes for the sharing of skills so that you can all grow together. 

Ask for help and attend training

Once you’ve figured out you have a skills gap, the next step is to take action to fill that skills gap. That might be by asking your superior for training or coaching, or liaising with team members with that skill set. You might even attend specialized training for certain skills – active listening or critical thinking, for example, are business-critical skills that are regularly offered as part of a training scheme.

Whatever method you choose, remember that taking action of some description is necessary for growth. Whether that means practicing, getting help, attending training or doing some background reading, taking active steps to improve your skills is the way to go.

Learn a process 

Problem solving can be complicated, particularly when attempting to solve large problems for the first time. Using a problem solving process helps give structure to your problem solving efforts and focus on creating outcomes, rather than worrying about the format. 

Tools such as the seven-step problem solving process above are effective because not only do they feature steps that will help a team solve problems, they also develop skills along the way. Each step asks for people to engage with the process using different skills and in doing so, helps the team learn and grow together. Group processes of varying complexity and purpose can also be found in the SessionLab library of facilitation techniques . Using a tried and tested process and really help ease the learning curve for both those leading such a process, as well as those undergoing the purpose.

Effective teams make decisions about where they should and shouldn’t expend additional effort. By using a problem solving process, you can focus on the things that matter, rather than stumbling towards a solution haphazardly. 

Create a feedback loop

Some skills gaps are more obvious than others. It’s possible that your perception of your active listening skills differs from those of your colleagues. 

It’s valuable to create a system where team members can provide feedback in an ordered and friendly manner so they can all learn from one another. Only by identifying areas of improvement can you then work to improve them. 

Remember that feedback systems require oversight and consideration so that they don’t turn into a place to complain about colleagues. Design the system intelligently so that you encourage the creation of learning opportunities, rather than encouraging people to list their pet peeves.

While practice might not make perfect, it does make the problem solving process easier. If you are having trouble with critical thinking, don’t shy away from doing it. Get involved where you can and stretch those muscles as regularly as possible. 

Problem solving skills come more naturally to some than to others and that’s okay. Take opportunities to get involved and see where you can practice your skills in situations outside of a workshop context. Try collaborating in other circumstances at work or conduct data analysis on your own projects. You can often develop those skills you need for problem solving simply by doing them. Get involved!

Use expert exercises and methods

Learn from the best. Our library of 700+ facilitation techniques is full of activities and methods that help develop the skills you need to be an effective problem solver. Check out our templates to see how to approach problem solving and other organizational challenges in a structured and intelligent manner.

There is no single approach to improving problem solving skills, but by using the techniques employed by others you can learn from their example and develop processes that have seen proven results. 

Try new ways of thinking and change your mindset

Using tried and tested exercises that you know well can help deliver results, but you do run the risk of missing out on the learning opportunities offered by new approaches. As with the problem solving process, changing your mindset can remove blockages and be used to develop your problem solving skills.

Most teams have members with mixed skill sets and specialties. Mix people from different teams and share skills and different points of view. Teach your customer support team how to use design thinking methods or help your developers with conflict resolution techniques. Try switching perspectives with facilitation techniques like Flip It! or by using new problem solving methodologies or models. Give design thinking, liberating structures or lego serious play a try if you want to try a new approach. You will find that framing problems in new ways and using existing skills in new contexts can be hugely useful for personal development and improving your skillset. It’s also a lot of fun to try new things. Give it a go!

Encountering business challenges and needing to find appropriate solutions is not unique to your organization. Lots of very smart people have developed methods, theories and approaches to help develop problem solving skills and create effective solutions. Learn from them!

Books like The Art of Thinking Clearly , Think Smarter, or Thinking Fast, Thinking Slow are great places to start, though it’s also worth looking at blogs related to organizations facing similar problems to yours, or browsing for success stories. Seeing how Dropbox massively increased growth and working backward can help you see the skills or approach you might be lacking to solve that same problem. Learning from others by reading their stories or approaches can be time-consuming but ultimately rewarding.

A tired, distracted mind is not in the best position to learn new skills. It can be tempted to burn the candle at both ends and develop problem solving skills outside of work. Absolutely use your time effectively and take opportunities for self-improvement, though remember that rest is hugely important and that without letting your brain rest, you cannot be at your most effective. 

Creating distance between yourself and the problem you might be facing can also be useful. By letting an idea sit, you can find that a better one presents itself or you can develop it further. Take regular breaks when working and create a space for downtime. Remember that working smarter is preferable to working harder and that self-care is important for any effective learning or improvement process.

Want to design better group processes?

how can i improve my logical thinking and problem solving skills

Over to you

Now we’ve explored some of the key problem solving skills and the problem solving steps necessary for an effective process, you’re ready to begin developing more effective solutions and leading problem solving workshops.

Need more inspiration? Check out our post on problem solving activities you can use when guiding a group towards a great solution in your next workshop or meeting. Have questions? Did you have a great problem solving technique you use with your team? Get in touch in the comments below. We’d love to chat!

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3 Simple Habits to Improve Your Critical Thinking

  • Helen Lee Bouygues

how can i improve my logical thinking and problem solving skills

But simple doesn’t mean easy.

Too many business leaders are simply not reasoning through pressing issues, and it’s hurting their organizations.  The good news is that critical thinking is a learned behavior. There are three simple things you can do to train yourself to become a more effective critical thinker: question assumptions, reason through logic, and diversify your thought and perspectives. They may sound obvious, but deliberately cultivating these three key habits of mind go a long way in helping you become better at clear and robust reasoning.

A few years ago, a CEO assured me that his company was the market leader. “Clients will not leave for competitors,” he added. “It costs too much for them to switch.” Within weeks, the manufacturing giant Procter & Gamble elected not to renew its contract with the firm. The CEO was shocked — but he shouldn’t have been.

how can i improve my logical thinking and problem solving skills

  • HB Helen Lee Bouygues is the president of the Paris-based Reboot Foundation . A former partner at McKinsey & Company, she has served as interim CEO, CFO, or COO for more than one dozen companies.

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How to Improve Reasoning Skills

Last Updated: February 13, 2024 Fact Checked

This article was co-authored by Erin Conlon, PCC, JD . Erin Conlon is an Executive Life Coach, the Founder of Erin Conlon Coaching, and the host of the podcast "This is Not Advice." She specializes in aiding leaders and executives to thrive in their career and personal lives. In addition to her private coaching practice, she teaches and trains coaches and develops and revises training materials to be more diverse, equitable, and inclusive. She holds a BA in Communications and History and a JD from The University of Michigan. Erin is a Professional Certified Coach with The International Coaching Federation. There are 13 references cited in this article, which can be found at the bottom of the page. This article has been fact-checked, ensuring the accuracy of any cited facts and confirming the authority of its sources. This article has been viewed 236,287 times.

Improving your reasoning skills can help you make good decisions, solve problems faster, and avoid irrational thoughts that get in your way of achieving your goals, and it's easy to get started. To help you out, we've gathered proven, effective strategies for improving your reasoning skills, from activities you can do at home to ways you can alter your thought patterns and avoid irrational thinking. Keep reading to get started improving your reasoning skills today.

Engaging in Activities that Require Critical Thought

Step 1 Keep trying new things.

  • Pick activities that are vastly different from one another. If you're already an outdoor enthusiast, instead of taking up hiking consider learning to crochet. If you're big into crafts and working with your hands, consider trying to do crossword puzzles or Sudoku in your spare time.
  • Take classes if possible. Taking a pottery class or poetry class at a local community center can be a fun way to challenge your brain and encourage you to try new things.

Step 2 Exercise.

  • Writing is an active endeavor. It forces you to expand and explore your thoughts. Keeping a journal that details your day, your feelings, and anything you thought about throughout the day can make you a more introspective, aware person. [3] X Trustworthy Source University of Rochester Medical Center Leading academic medical center in the U.S. focused on clinical care and research Go to source This can lead to higher reasoning skills.
  • Make time to journal every day. Schedule regular journaling time into your day-to-day life as you would brushing your teeth, showering, and eating dinner. It may be helpful to schedule journal time after an activity you're accustom to doing every day, as this will make it easier to remember to keep up with your journal.

Step 4 Read fiction.

  • Fiction can force you to become more insightful about other perspectives due to the focus on character. This can make you more in tune to the cultures, belief systems, and skill sets of those around you. You may be better at, say, reasoning with those around you as you'll have a greater capacity for empathy.
  • Black and white thinking is also lessened through reading fiction. People who read fiction over time may have more sophisticated thought patterns as they're able to navigate and accept the ambiguity in a variety of situations.

Step 5 Play games that require reasoning skills.

  • Look for board games that rely on more than just look. Explore in depth strategy games where decision making is a key part of the process. Schedule a regular game night with friends and aim to play games that require thought and attention. Clue and Risk require critical thought. Games like Scrabble and Boggle teach you to analyze information quickly. [6] X Research source
  • Chess and checkers all require reasoning skills. Consider joining or starting a chess club. [7] X Research source
  • Consider games you can play on your own. You can play certain card games alone online. Purchase a Rubik's Cube and spend time trying to solve it. [8] X Research source

Step 6 Create.

Altering Thought Patterns

Step 1 Pay attention to the purpose behind your actions.

  • Focus on larger goals at work or school. Where do you want to be in five years? Two years? One year? How are you current actions serving this goal? Do your actions make sense reasonably given your larger purpose? Answering these questions can help you improve your reasoning skills. [10] X Research source

Erin Conlon, PCC, JD

  • A major bias is that people often only consider a situation or a problem from one point of view. When dealing with an issue at work, school, or home pause and ask yourself a few questions before taking action. Ask, "What do I believe about the situation? Why do I believe this? What assumptions might I be making about the thoughts and ideas of others?" [14] X Research source
  • It's important to take steps to be self-aware of your own biases. This can help you avoid having those biases obstruct your judgment. [15] X Research source It may even be helpful to ask a close friend about your gaps in thinking. Approach a friend with a question like, "What are some ways I sometimes behave irrationally?" Ask for honesty and openness.

Step 3 Consider the implications of your options.

  • Use your imagination. Before making a choice in a given situation, pause to imagine a variety of possible outcomes. How do you feel about these outcomes? What's the worst case scenario? Best case scenario? What is reasonably most likely to happen? Why? [16] X Research source
  • Also, do not neglect to consider the viewpoints of others affected by your decision. This can help you explore your decision through a variety of angles. [17] X Research source

Recognizing Irrational Thoughts

Step 1 Watch for over-generalizations.

  • Over-generalizations are taking one particular event and seeing it as evidence of how things have always been or always will be. For example, if you do bad on one test you may think, "I'm stupid and always fail at school." In making this statement, you're glossing other academic success you have had in the past in the light of one event. [18] X Research source
  • All-or-nothing thinking is a form of generalizing where you see things in black and white terms. All-or-nothing thinking places things in only one or two categories: good or bad, success or failure, etc. This results in missing the shades of gray in a situation. For example, if you get a mixed review of your performance at work you may see yourself as a failure. In reality, you're likely a competent worker with some areas that need improvement. [19] X Research source
  • Filtering out positive is a thought pattern in which too much focus is placed on the bad aspects of a situation. If 20 good things happen in a day followed by 1 bad thing, you may focus entirely on the negative. For example, say you make a single mistake during a musical performance but otherwise play perfectly. You might be tempted to declare the performance a disaster. In reality, you are probably the only person who noticed a single wrong note. [20] X Research source

Step 2 Do not make assumptions.

  • Sometimes, people engage in mind-reading. That is, you make assumptions about what others think of your or a situation. In reality, it's impossible to know what another person is thinking without asking. For example, you may find yourself thinking "I bet everyone thought I was an idiot in that meeting" or "I bet that co-worker thinks I talk too much." If you notice yourself engaging in such thoughts, try to remind yourself that you are probably not as good at reading people's opinions as you think you are. [21] X Research source
  • Fortune telling is a form of thinking where you think you know what will happen in the future. This can be in the form of a defeatist attitude. For example, "I'll never be able to stick to a diet and lose weight" or "I know I'm going to sound like an idiot during my presentation tomorrow." Keep in mind that, in reality, you cannot know what will happen tomorrow or in the coming weeks. [22] X Research source

Step 3 Avoid catastrophic thinking.

  • Labeling is the tendency to put a name on a situation. For example, "This person made a mistake" or "I made a bad choice." This leads you to put people and situations into categories based on solitary instances. Try your best not to categorize and avoid the temptation to judge. [25] X Research source
  • Personalization is the tendency to take situations and other people's reactions personally. For example, you may assume a co-worker is mad at you if she doesn't stop to chat in the break room. In reality, she may just be busy. Try not to take situations personally. [26] X Research source
  • Oftentimes, you hold yourself to an unreal ideal. You might see someone else's success as evidence of your shortcoming. Try to keep in mind everyone is different and moves at a different pace. [27] X Research source

How Do You Improve Critical Thinking Skills?

Expert Q&A

Erin Conlon, PCC, JD

  • Read up on different kinds of logical fallacies to avoid, such as the Straw Man or the slippery slope fallacy. Thanks Helpful 1 Not Helpful 0
  • Learn to open your mind outside of reasoning as practice more or less. Thanks Helpful 1 Not Helpful 0

how can i improve my logical thinking and problem solving skills

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Strengthen Your Acting Skills

  • ↑ https://www.cdc.gov/nccdphp/dnpao/features/physical-activity-brain-health/index.html
  • ↑ https://greatergood.berkeley.edu/article/item/how_journaling_can_help_you_in_hard_times
  • ↑ https://www.urmc.rochester.edu/encyclopedia/content.aspx?ContentID=4552&ContentTypeID=1
  • ↑ https://hbr.org/2020/03/the-case-for-reading-fiction
  • ↑ https://www.digitalcitizenship.nsw.edu.au/articles/the-benefits-of-playing-online-games
  • ↑ https://www.usnews.com/education/articles/how-to-develop-critical-thinking-skills-before-college
  • ↑ https://www.indeed.com/career-advice/career-development/strengthen-logical-thinking-skills
  • ↑ https://www.entrepreneur.com/article/226484
  • ↑ Erin Conlon, PCC, JD. Executive Life Coach. Expert Interview. 31 August 2021.
  • ↑ https://dictionary.apa.org/overgeneralization
  • ↑ https://psychcentral.com/health/all-or-nothing-thinking-examples
  • ↑ https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/what-mentally-strong-people-dont-do/201501/10-thinking-errors-will-crush-your-mental-strength
  • ↑ https://psychcentral.com/blog/catastrophic-thinking-when-your-mind-clings-to-worst-case-scenarios

About This Article

Erin Conlon, PCC, JD

To improve your reasoning skills, play strategy games like chess and Scrabble. Journaling is another way to improve critical thinking skills since it involves reflection and exploration of your thoughts and feelings. Finally, try new things to increase encourage critical thinking! Pick activities that are different from each other, like biking and crochet, for fun, challenging ways to stimulate your mind. To learn how to improve your reasoning skills through exercise, keep reading! Did this summary help you? Yes No

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How to build your critical thinking skills in 7 steps (with examples)

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Critical thinking is, well, critical. By building these skills, you improve your ability to analyze information and come to the best decision possible. In this article, we cover the basics of critical thinking, as well as the seven steps you can use to implement the full critical thinking process. 

Critical thinking comes from asking the right questions to come to the best conclusion possible. Strong critical thinkers analyze information from a variety of viewpoints in order to identify the best course of action.

Don’t worry if you don’t think you have strong critical thinking abilities. In this article, we’ll help you build a foundation for critical thinking so you can absorb, analyze, and make informed decisions. 

What is critical thinking? 

Critical thinking is the ability to collect and analyze information to come to a conclusion. Being able to think critically is important in virtually every industry and applicable across a wide range of positions. That’s because critical thinking isn’t subject-specific—rather, it’s your ability to parse through information, data, statistics, and other details in order to identify a satisfactory solution. 

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Top 8 critical thinking skills

Like most soft skills, critical thinking isn’t something you can take a class to learn. Rather, this skill consists of a variety of interpersonal and analytical skills. Developing critical thinking is more about learning to embrace open-mindedness and bringing analytical thinking to your problem framing process. 

In no particular order, the eight most important critical thinking skills are:

Analytical thinking: Part of critical thinking is evaluating data from multiple sources in order to come to the best conclusions. Analytical thinking allows people to reject bias and strive to gather and consume information to come to the best conclusion. 

Open-mindedness: This critical thinking skill helps you analyze and process information to come to an unbiased conclusion. Part of the critical thinking process is letting your personal biases go and coming to a conclusion based on all of the information. 

Problem solving : Because critical thinking emphasizes coming to the best conclusion based on all of the available information, it’s a key part of problem solving. When used correctly, critical thinking helps you solve any problem—from a workplace challenge to difficulties in everyday life. 

Self-regulation: Self-regulation refers to the ability to regulate your thoughts and set aside any personal biases to come to the best conclusion. In order to be an effective critical thinker, you need to question the information you have and the decisions you favor—only then can you come to the best conclusion. 

Observation: Observation skills help critical thinkers look for things beyond face value. To be a critical thinker you need to embrace multiple points of view, and you can use observation skills to identify potential problems.

Interpretation: Not all data is made equal—and critical thinkers know this. In addition to gathering information, it’s important to evaluate which information is important and relevant to your situation. That way, you can draw the best conclusions from the data you’ve collected. 

Evaluation: When you attempt to answer a hard question, there is rarely an obvious answer. Even though critical thinking emphasizes putting your biases aside, you need to be able to confidently make a decision based on the data you have available. 

Communication: Once a decision has been made, you also need to share this decision with other stakeholders. Effective workplace communication includes presenting evidence and supporting your conclusion—especially if there are a variety of different possible solutions. 

7 steps to critical thinking

Critical thinking is a skill that you can build by following these seven steps. The seven steps to critical thinking help you ensure you’re approaching a problem from the right angle, considering every alternative, and coming to an unbiased conclusion.

 First things first: When to use the 7 step critical thinking process

There’s a lot that goes into the full critical thinking process, and not every decision needs to be this thought out. Sometimes, it’s enough to put aside bias and approach a process logically. In other, more complex cases, the best way to identify the ideal outcome is to go through the entire critical thinking process. 

The seven-step critical thinking process is useful for complex decisions in areas you are less familiar with. Alternatively, the seven critical thinking steps can help you look at a problem you’re familiar with from a different angle, without any bias. 

If you need to make a less complex decision, consider another problem solving strategy instead. Decision matrices are a great way to identify the best option between different choices. Check out our article on 7 steps to creating a decision matrix .

1. Identify the problem

Before you put those critical thinking skills to work, you first need to identify the problem you’re solving. This step includes taking a look at the problem from a few different perspectives and asking questions like: 

What’s happening? 

Why is this happening? 

What assumptions am I making? 

At first glance, how do I think we can solve this problem? 

A big part of developing your critical thinking skills is learning how to come to unbiased conclusions. In order to do that, you first need to acknowledge the biases that you currently have. Does someone on your team think they know the answer? Are you making assumptions that aren’t necessarily true? Identifying these details helps you later on in the process. 

2. Research

At this point, you likely have a general idea of the problem—but in order to come up with the best solution, you need to dig deeper. 

During the research process, collect information relating to the problem, including data, statistics, historical project information, team input, and more. Make sure you gather information from a variety of sources, especially if those sources go against your personal ideas about what the problem is or how to solve it.

Gathering varied information is essential for your ability to apply the critical thinking process. If you don’t get enough information, your ability to make a final decision will be skewed. Remember that critical thinking is about helping you identify the objective best conclusion. You aren’t going with your gut—you’re doing research to find the best option

3. Determine data relevance

Just as it’s important to gather a variety of information, it is also important to determine how relevant the different information sources are. After all, just because there is data doesn’t mean it’s relevant. 

Once you’ve gathered all of the information, sift through the noise and identify what information is relevant and what information isn’t. Synthesizing all of this information and establishing significance helps you weigh different data sources and come to the best conclusion later on in the critical thinking process. 

To determine data relevance, ask yourself:

How reliable is this information? 

How significant is this information? 

Is this information outdated? Is it specialized in a specific field? 

4. Ask questions

One of the most useful parts of the critical thinking process is coming to a decision without bias. In order to do so, you need to take a step back from the process and challenge the assumptions you’re making. 

We all have bias—and that isn’t necessarily a bad thing. Unconscious biases (also known as cognitive biases) often serve as mental shortcuts to simplify problem solving and aid decision making. But even when biases aren’t inherently bad, you must be aware of your biases in order to put them aside when necessary. 

Before coming to a solution, ask yourself:

Am I making any assumptions about this information? 

Are there additional variables I haven’t considered? 

Have I evaluated the information from every perspective? 

Are there any viewpoints I missed? 

5. Identify the best solution

Finally, you’re ready to come to a conclusion. To identify the best solution, draw connections between causes and effects. Use the facts you’ve gathered to evaluate the most objective conclusion. 

Keep in mind that there may be more than one solution. Often, the problems you’re facing are complex and intricate. The critical thinking process doesn’t necessarily lead to a cut-and-dry solution—instead, the process helps you understand the different variables at play so you can make an informed decision. 

6. Present your solution

Communication is a key skill for critical thinkers. It isn’t enough to think for yourself—you also need to share your conclusion with other project stakeholders. If there are multiple solutions, present them all. There may be a case where you implement one solution, then test to see if it works before implementing another solution. 

7. Analyze your decision

The seven-step critical thinking process yields a result—and you then need to put that solution into place. After you’ve implemented your decision, evaluate whether or not it was effective. Did it solve the initial problem? What lessons—whether positive or negative—can you learn from this experience to improve your critical thinking for next time? 

Depending on how your team shares information, consider documenting lessons learned in a central source of truth. That way, team members that are making similar or related decisions in the future can understand why you made the decision you made and what the outcome was. 

Example of critical thinking in the workplace

Imagine you work in user experience design (UX). Your team is focused on pricing and packaging and ensuring customers have a clear understanding of the different services your company offers. Here’s how to apply the critical thinking process in the workplace in seven steps: 

Start by identifying the problem

Your current pricing page isn’t performing as well as you want. You’ve heard from customers that your services aren’t clear, and that the page doesn’t answer the questions they have. This page is really important for your company, since it’s where your customers sign up for your service. You and your team have a few theories about why your current page isn’t performing well, but you decide to apply the critical thinking process to ensure you come to the best decision for the page. 

Gather information about how the problem started

Part of identifying the problem includes understanding how the problem started. The pricing and packaging page is important—so when your team initially designed the page, they certainly put a lot of thought into it. Before you begin researching how to improve the page, ask yourself: 

Why did you design the pricing page the way you did? 

Which stakeholders need to be involved in the decision making process? 

Where are users getting stuck on the page?

Are any features currently working?

Then, you research

In addition to understanding the history of the pricing and packaging page, it’s important to understand what works well. Part of this research means taking a look at what your competitor’s pricing pages look like. 

Ask yourself: 

How have our competitors set up their pricing pages?

Are there any pricing page best practices? 

How does color, positioning, and animation impact navigation? 

Are there any standard page layouts customers expect to see? 

Organize and analyze information

You’ve gathered all of the information you need—now you need to organize and analyze it. What trends, if any, are you noticing? Is there any particularly relevant or important information that you have to consider? 

Ask open-ended questions to reduce bias

In the case of critical thinking, it’s important to address and set bias aside as much as possible. Ask yourself: 

Is there anything I’m missing? 

Have I connected with the right stakeholders? 

Are there any other viewpoints I should consider? 

Determine the best solution for your team

You now have all of the information you need to design the best pricing page. Depending on the complexity of the design, you may want to design a few options to present to a small group of customers or A/B test on the live website.

Present your solution to stakeholders

Critical thinking can help you in every element of your life, but in the workplace, you must also involve key project stakeholders . Stakeholders help you determine next steps, like whether you’ll A/B test the page first. Depending on the complexity of the issue, consider hosting a meeting or sharing a status report to get everyone on the same page. 

Analyze the results

No process is complete without evaluating the results. Once the new page has been live for some time, evaluate whether it did better than the previous page. What worked? What didn’t? This also helps you make better critical decisions later on.

Critically successful 

Critical thinking takes time to build, but with effort and patience you can apply an unbiased, analytical mind to any situation. Critical thinking makes up one of many soft skills that makes you an effective team member, manager, and worker. If you’re looking to hone your skills further, read our article on the 25 project management skills you need to succeed . 

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What Is Logical Thinking – Significance, Components, And Examples

Home Blog Career What Is Logical Thinking – Significance, Components, And Examples

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Logical thinking skills play a significant role in developing careers because they help you reason through vital decisions, generate creative ideas, set goals, and solve problems. You may encounter multiple challenges in your life when you enter the job industry or advance your career. Therefore, need strong logical reasoning skills to solve your problems.

But you must know ‘what is logical thinking’ before you move forward or come up with solutions.

What Is Logical Thinking?

Logical thinking is your ability to think in a disciplined manner or base significant thoughts on evidence and facts. The process involves incorporating logic into an individual’s thinking abilities when analyzing a problem to devise a solution. Logical thinking may require Soft Skills Courses because it involves progressive analysis systems.

Now that you know the logical thinking meaning, you can undertake Knowledgehut Training to become probable, reasonable, and actionable with your thoughts. Many fields, such as project management , can benefit from logical thinking skills. Also, consider obtaining some accredited PMP certification programs as well.

Importance Of Logical Thinking

According to a global report , problem-solving, a critical and logical thinking aspect, is one of the top skills employers look for in job candidates. So, it explains the demand for logical thinking or reasoning abilities.

You have already gone through the logical reasoning meaning earlier. Now, it is time to understand its importance through the following points.

1. It Encourages Independent Abilities

You may require multiple demonstrations and examples in your life to learn and comprehend processes. However, prolonged and frequent demonstration systems do not work because problem-solving requires reasoning and analysis. So, you must acquire independent reasoning abilities that define logical thinking.

2. It Promotes Creativity and Innovation

Think out of the box to devise creative solutions to your problems. Here is where logical thinking comes in handy because it allows you to innovate better ideas and give a controlled sense to the events happening in your life.

3. It Helps Enhance Analytical Thinking

You weigh down all possible results and evaluate different options to ensure a favorable outcome for your decisions. Logical reasoning enables you to master multiple choice questions in various ways to get the desired answer by thinking better about the solution.

4. It Helps Strengthen the Brain

If you think about logical reasoning meaning, it involves diverse tasks that help activate various parts of your brain - memory, visual-shape memory, verbal-logic memory, etc. The process helps strengthen your brain and enables you to distinguish significant facets of life.

5. It Helps Enhance Focus

Logical thinking is one of the best ways to increase your concentration. The reasoning ability tests require your focus on problem-solving and include multiple methods and strategies to keep you hooked and develop positive self-esteem.

Ways To Improve Your Logical Thinking

Logical thinking ability definition helps you understand that you must possess this significant skill to move forward in life. So, you must improve and develop your logical thinking through proper activities and exercises. Here is a breakdown of tips to help improve your logical thinking abilities.

  • Learn from your life’s mistakes.  
  • Anticipate what lies ahead of you and other future happenings.  
  • Take complex mental tests.  
  • Stimulate your brain through multiple activities.  
  • Differentiate between observation and inferences.  
  • Try to recognize repetitive patterns like a sequence of numbers.  
  • Indulge in analytical values like critical thinking, interpreting, deciding, and concluding facts.

Logical Thinking Skills

The best way to define logical reasoning skills is the ability to focus on tasks and activities by following a chain of thought processes and relating statements to one another. The process allows you to find a logical solution to your problem.

How To Build Logical Thinking Skills?

Work on your logical thinking development to enhance your problem-solving abilities. Here is a breakdown of the techniques to help you overcome your thinking obstacles and understand what the concept of logical thinking is.

  • Do not view things from your perspective and understand other people’s opinions.  
  • Think before you start doing things by devising efficient strategies.  
  • Analyze the meaning of words and sentences carefully.  
  • Enhance your thinking skills through games and mystery books.

How To Think Logically in Five Steps?

Logical reasoning means rationalizing your thoughts and creating positive outcomes. The process combines situational awareness and the ability to regulate emotions to enable efficient decision-making. Here is how you can think logically before making decisions.

1. Take Part in Creative Activities

Creative activities like painting, writing, drawing, music, etc., help stimulate your brain and promote logical thinking. Creative thinking also helps develop problem-solving abilities to make you a better performer.

2. Practice Asking Meaningful Questions

Try asking questions regularly to gain a comprehensive perspective of the facts. It will enable you to approach problems creatively and logically and devise solutions strategically.

3. Spend Time with Other People

Try developing meaningful relationships with other people to help broaden your views and perspectives. Socializing with them will help you think logically and provide alternative viewpoints to solutions.

4. Learn New Skills

You must learn new skills frequently to sharpen your logical reasoning abilities. Take opportunities to learn as often as possible and practice your skills daily to help thoughtfully approach situations.

5. Visualize the Outcome of Your Decisions

You must consider your decisions and their impact on your future to help assess positive outcomes. Visualizing the outcome of your choices and decisions will help you strengthen your logical thinking skills.

Components Of Logical Thinking

When someone asks you what the meaning of logical thinking is, your answer should be emotional reasoning and intelligence. It means you possess self-awareness of your feelings and prevent them from affecting your decision-making process.

components of logical thinking

You must know four significant components after understanding  what  the logical thinking concept is.   

1. Deductive Reasoning

Deductive Reasoning or Deduction is a significant component of logical thinking that seeks to reach specific conclusions. The process makes it easier for you to gain a simplified understanding and indulge in rational and logical thought processes.

2. Inductive Reasoning

Inductive reasoning or induction enables you to think more logically and rely on generalizations. Your general notions depend on anecdotal experiences, facts, and personal observations of your life that are either true or false.

3. Causal Inference

Causal inference involves recognizing the change and evolvement in reasoning things to help you think logically. The process enables taking specific actions and making a logical or causal inference to reason your activities.

Analogical reasoning or analogy enables you to find the things between two different perspectives. Analogy helps you know and understand every situation to help you think logically and make rational decisions.

Example s Of Thinking Logically on Different Occasions  

What is a logical thinking example? I f you are asking yourself this question, look at the following situations for reference.  

1. Logical Thinking When You Are in Disagreement

You and your friend discuss the upcoming cricket match, and both disagree on who will be the opening batsman. You try logically reasoning out the facts and back out by stating that your friend’s prediction is correct.

2. Logical Thinking to Complete Your Work

You had planned a day out with friends for the weekend, but you got caught up with some pending work. The logical way to sort the situation would be to complete your work beforehand and head out for your getaway.

3. Logical Thinking When Making a Tough Decision

You get a good job opportunity in another city, but it makes you emotional thinking you have to leave your hometown. The logical way is to think of the opportunities awaiting you in the other place and decide to take the job.   

4. Logical Thinking When You Do Not Know the Answer

If you do not know the answer to a few questions about your recent assignment, the logical way of solving them is by approaching your teacher and asking for clarification.   

5. Other Logical Thinking Examples

Logical thinking involves reasoning skills to study problems and find rational conclusions or solutions. One of the best examples is the following situation.

You are facing some problems in the office. So, you use the available facts using your logical reasoning skills to address them.

Here is another example of logical reasoning.

You develop a fever ahead of an important meeting that you cannot miss at any cost. The logical way to solve the problem is to attend the meeting virtually instead of remaining physically present.

In Conclusion

Logical thinking is an act of analyzing situations and using reasoning abilities to study the problem and make a rational conclusion.  When you become a logical thinker, you gather all the information you can, assess the facts, and methodically decide the best way to move forward with your decision. Most people consider logical thinking an essential tool to brainstorm ideas, analyze problems, and find answers at home, workplace, or in educational institutions.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

You can consider yourself a logical thinker if you are attentive, get your facts straight, and have clear ideas about situations.

Yes, logical thinking is a soft skill that is tangible, easy to practice, and improves your reasoning abilities.

Economists, software developers, accountants, chemical engineers, technical writers, criminologists, and other related careers use logical thinking.

Logical thinkers are good at observing and analyzing situations, feedback, and reactions to draw rational conclusions.

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Mounika Narang

Mounika Narang is a project manager having a specialisation in IT project management and Instructional Design. She has an experience of 10 years  working with Fortune 500 companies to solve their most important development challenges. She lives in Bangalore with her family.

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IMAGES

  1. 15 Ways to Learn How to Improve Problem Solving Skills

    how can i improve my logical thinking and problem solving skills

  2. 10 Ways To Develop Logical Thinking Skills

    how can i improve my logical thinking and problem solving skills

  3. How to Improve Logical Thinking And Problem Solving Skills?

    how can i improve my logical thinking and problem solving skills

  4. Critical thinking, Logic & Problem Solving: The Ultimate Guide to

    how can i improve my logical thinking and problem solving skills

  5. Critical thinking, Logic & Problem Solving: The Ultimate Guide to

    how can i improve my logical thinking and problem solving skills

  6. Improve Your Logical Reasoning Skills 7 Hacks For Critical Thinking

    how can i improve my logical thinking and problem solving skills

VIDEO

  1. Can You Solve This Basic Logical Reasoning Problem‼️

  2. Can You Solve This Basic Logical Reasoning Problem‼️

  3. Can You Solve This Basic Logical Reasoning Problem‼️

  4. Activities To Improve Focus || Logical skills, problem solving skills

  5. Can you solve this basic logical reasoning problem❓

  6. Can You Solve This Basic Logical Reasoning Problem‼️

COMMENTS

  1. The Best Ways To Strengthen Your Logical Thinking Skills

    1. Spend time on creative hobbies Creative outlets like drawing, painting, writing and playing music can stimulate the brain and help promote logical thinking. Creative thinking naturally develops problem-solving abilities that can help you become a better performer at work.

  2. How To Improve Your Logical Reasoning Skills (Plus Types)

    How to improve your logical reasoning skills Below are some steps you might follow if you want to strengthen your logical reasoning capabilities: 1. Practice conditional statements Conditional statements are one of the bases of logical reasoning. A conditional statement is a verifiable truth that's dependent on another variable or condition.

  3. 12 Ways to Improve Problem Solving Skills

    1 Define the problem clearly. Download Article This is an outwardly simple but vital step. If you don't properly understand the problem, your solutions may be ineffective or fail entirely. To define the problem you will have to ask questions and look at different angles. For example, is there one problem or actually several?

  4. How to Think Logically (And Permanently Solve Serious Problems)

    How to Think Logically: 9 Ways to Improve Your Logical Thinking Skills At the end of the day, using the right form of logic is more about the best possible solution than the problem, but we do need to make sure we understand the problem first.

  5. How to Improve Your Logical Thinking

    Logical thinking is a vital skill that can enhance your problem-solving abilities, decision-making process, and overall cognitive agility. You can significantly improve your logical thinking skills by understanding the basics of logic, practicing critical thinking, playing brain-boosting games, and engaging in debates and discussions.

  6. What Is Logical Thinking? 8 Tips to Improve Logic

    Keep in mind that well-developed logical thinking skills also promote our skills such as analytical thinking, reasoning, math, and problem-solving. It is important to understand what logical thinking meaning is and how it affects our daily lives. To have a better understanding, you can look at the positive effects below.

  7. How to Develop Problem Solving Skills: 4 Tips

    1. Identify the problem. Whether you're dealing with a complex problem or a relatively simple one, it's vital that you have a clear understanding of what it is that you're hoping to solve. If you're trying to tackle a number of problems (even if they're relatively simple problems) the task becomes much harder.

  8. The Most Important Logical Thinking Skills (With Examples)

    Key Takeaways: Logical thinking is problem solving based on reasoning that follows a strictly structured progression of analysis. Critical thinking, research, creativity, mathematics, reading, active listening, and organization are all important logical thinking skills in the workplace.

  9. How To Improve Your Problem Solving Skills [10 Ways]

    1. Dance Your Heart Out Did you know that dancing has a positive impact on neural processing, possibly developing new neural pathways to go around dopamine-depleted blockages in the brain? This means that if you engage in ballet or another form of structured dance, doing so may facilitate convergent thinking.

  10. How to improve your problem solving skills and strategies

    6. Solution implementation. This is what we were waiting for! All problem solving strategies have the end goal of implementing a solution and solving a problem in mind. Remember that in order for any solution to be successful, you need to help your group through all of the previous problem solving steps thoughtfully.

  11. 13 Easy Steps To Improve Your Critical Thinking Skills

    With the sheer volume of information that we're bombarded with on a daily basis - and with the pervasiveness of fake news and social media bubbles - the ability to look at evidence, evaluate the...

  12. 3 Simple Habits to Improve Your Critical Thinking

    The good news is that critical thinking is a learned behavior. There are three simple things you can do to train yourself to become a more effective critical thinker: question assumptions, reason ...

  13. Developing Logical Thinking: A Guide to Boosting Your Problem-Solving

    One effective way to develop logical thinking is by breaking down complex problems into smaller, more manageable parts. This process, known as decomposition, allows you to analyze the problem...

  14. How to Improve Reasoning Skills: 13 Steps (with Pictures)

    Part 1 Engaging in Activities that Require Critical Thought Download Article 1 Keep trying new things. A great way to improve reasoning skills is to keep trying new things. The mind is like any other muscle. It requires exercise and stimulation. Make a point of trying out new hobbies and activities on a regular basis.

  15. Build Critical Thinking Skills in 7 Steps w/ Examples [2023] • Asana

    Open-mindedness: This critical thinking skill helps you analyze and process information to come to an unbiased conclusion. Part of the critical thinking process is letting your personal biases go and coming to a conclusion based on all of the information. Problem solving: Because critical thinking emphasizes coming to the best conclusion based ...

  16. What Is Logical Thinking in the Workplace?

    Logical thinkers gather all the information they can, assess the facts, and then methodically decide the best way to move forward. Logical thinking is an essential tool in the workplace to help analyze problems, brainstorm ideas, and find answers. Employers want employees who can come up with the right solutions that are financially reasonable ...

  17. Problem-Solving Skills: What They Are and How to Improve Yours

    There are several ways you can work to improve your ability to solve problems, including: Practice. Spending time practicing various problems can help you get more comfortable with the problem-solving process. Consider working with someone else in your field to solve hypothetical problems that are realistic within your industry.

  18. How to Improve Your Conceptual Skills

    Skills in this area include restructuring skills, abstractive thinking, innovation, open-mindedness, and strategic planning. Problem-solving skills such as decision-making, troubleshooting, solution execution, and logical thinking are essential for professionals employing their conceptual skills. These skills take the idea through to execution.

  19. How logical reasoning works

    Logical reasoning, in combination with other cognitive skills, is an important skill you use during all kinds of daily situations. It helps you make important decisions, discern the truth, solve problems, come up with new ideas and set achievable goals. Logical reasoning is also an important aspect of measuring intelligence during an IQ-test.

  20. 5 tips to improve your critical thinking

    View full lesson: http://ed.ted.com/lessons/5-tips-to-improve-your-critical-thinking-samantha-agoosEvery day, a sea of decisions stretches before us, and it'...

  21. 5 Top Critical Thinking Skills (And How To Improve Them)

    1. Observation Observational skills are the starting point for critical thinking. People who are observant can quickly sense and identify a new problem. Those skilled in observation are also capable of understanding why something might be a problem.

  22. IWTL how to improve my logical thinking and problem solving

    While solving Algebra and Calculus problems can be helpful, your ability to reason will skyrocket when you get into proving theorems. If you're into reading books, a good introduction to logic is Logic Made Easy by D. Bennett. This really helped my reasoning ability in High School.

  23. What Is Logical Thinking

    Logical thinking involves reasoning skills to study problems and find rational conclusions or solutions. One of the best examples is the following situation. You are facing some problems in the office. So, you use the available facts using your logical reasoning skills to address them. Here is another example of logical reasoning.

  24. How Volunteer Work Can Improve Your Problem-Solving Skills

    By volunteering, you can gain valuable experience, learn new skills, network with others, and explore your interests. Volunteer work can also help you develop your problem-solving skills, as you ...

  25. How to Improve Your Problem-Solving Skills as a Computer ...

    1 Identify the problem. The first step in problem-solving is to clearly define the problem and its symptoms. You need to gather as much information as possible from the client, the device, and the ...

  26. How Scatter Plots Boost Your Analytical Reasoning

    Scatter plots are powerful tools for improving your analytical reasoning skills. They can help you visualize data, identify correlations, find outliers, and communicate results. By using scatter ...

  27. 7 Power Skills That Are in Demand in 2024 and How You Can Help Your

    Read more: 7 Problem-Solving Skills That Can Help You Be a More Successful Manager. 6. Collaboration and teamwork. With many employees working remotely or keeping hybrid schedules, applying collaboration and teamwork skills can be tricky, but they're more important than ever.