How to Improve Your Logical Thinking Skills
Logical thinking is a skill that allows you to look at something objectively and create a rational response that tells you what you need to do next.
By taking in what you can see and what you already know, you can apply logic and reasoning to your thought process to come to a clear conclusion.
However, there are some key differences that you should be aware of:
Logical thinking or logical reasoning is the process by which you find the truth or conclusion from a set of assumptions.
a) If you work for [company], you will likely have been asked to pass a logical thinking test
b) Jane Bloggs is the head of HR at [company]
c) We can assume that Jane Bloggs has passed a logical thinking test
The process of logical thinking leads us to the conclusion in c) because it takes the assumptions of the information provided in the two statements.
If we move into critical thinking, it is a similar process; however, it also involves looking beyond the information presented to us.
It is a form of logical thinking where you may come to a clear and rational response; however, you also question yourself about any assumptions or premises, rather than taking them at face value.
Using the example above, the critical thinker might question whether Jane Bloggs has passed the logical thinking test.
For example, is the test only for paticular departments or levels of seniority? Was the logical thinking test being used at the time that Jane Bloggs was hired?
Critical thinking is about questioning the information you have been told to make your rational decision.
Deductive reasoning is another form of logical thinking that allows individuals to create a conclusion using a top-down process.
It is about taking a general idea and then reaching a specific conclusion based on the available facts and logic.
Let’s assume that Jane Bloggs (our HR manager) is struggling to recruit candidates that are good decision-makers or possess problem-solving skills.
We can assume that she instigated logical thinking tests into her recruitment campaigns, allowing her to feel more confident that new starters have the skills that she needs.
From this example, we can see how this ‘top-down’ approach has been thought through via deductive reasoning.
How to think logically is an important skill within the workplace because it can impact everything that you do.
Everything that you do within the workplace should be carefully considered. Regardless of your expertise, your sector or your level of seniority, you will always have various problems to solve.
It could be something as simple as how to resolve a customer dispute, or it could be how to manage your budget or how to decide on what skills are needed within your team.
It is how you solve these problems that can help you to make a tangible difference to your employer and your long-term career prospects.
Employers need staff with good logical thinking skills because it means that they can self-assess what they need to do and decipher the best way to get the job done.
Employers are continuously looking for their staff to have logical thinking skills because it means that they can trust that any decisions are based upon facts or other evidence.
The ability to use logic to create a clear, rational conclusion to your work situation or task means that logical thinkers are often far more productive.
Here are a few examples of where logical thinking fits into the workplace:
A marketing manager needs to create a strategy for a new campaign.
Through logical thinking and data analysis, they can look at what customers are shopping for, how they are behaving and what they want from a specific product.
The marketing manager can logically use this wealth of information to create a clear, coherent plan to launch the next phase of products.
A law firm is looking to expand into new services. They know that they want to emulate the success of their top billing department, so they look at the internal skills and resourcing of that team to establish what makes them so effective.
With this information, they can create a wish list of desirable skills and attributes and use this to inform their next recruitment campaign.
A business has a higher-than-usual staff turnover. The HR department starts to implement exit interviews to find out why employees want to move on.
With this feedback as evidence, they can establish ways to improve staff morale and retainment through initiatives such as training and development, performance reviews, and reward schemes.
As you can see from these examples, logical thinking is about questioning what is happening and trying to decipher how you can find evidence to justify and support your decision-making capabilities.
In a work environment, logical thinking allows you to create solutions based on fact rather than your emotions.
We all have logical thinking skills; however, there are many tips and techniques that you can use to develop your logical thinking.
The best way to improve your logical thinking capability is to pay more attention to the information provided to you.
Look at what information is presented and use your logical thinking to ensure that you are interpreting that information correctly.
Logical thinking involves:
- Being able to separate the facts from your assumptions
- Considering other perspectives and knowledge
- Learning from your mistakes
- Removing any emotion or bias from your thinking processes
- Understanding how you can draw reasonable conclusions from the information available to you
Here are some of our top tips to help you make the most of your logical thinking skills:
Where possible, try to ask as many questions as you can. This gives you more information to work from, and therefore, to draw your rational conclusions.
The more information you have, the greater your perspective is.
In a work situation, when you are using your logical thinking to devise strategies and campaign plans, ask for advice and input from colleagues in other teams or junior staff members.
You may be surprised how their influence can give you more information to work from.
However, it is also important to check your sources and verify the information given to you within your additional questioning.
Ensure that you have everything you need to make an informed and accurate decision.
It may surprise you to learn that creative activities such as drawing, painting or playing a musical instrument can help you to improve your logical thinking skills.
This is because it relaxes the brain.
Whilst something like learning to play the piano requires deep thought and concentration and relies upon a series of rules/patterns, it also allows you to switch off from outside influences and focus on the task at hand.
The more relaxed you are, the more likely you can focus effectively and make logical decisions.
In a work environment, try to continually learn new skills.
Not only does this help with your career advancement opportunities, the process of learning something new is a good way to improve your logical thinking skills.
Practicing your new work skills is a great way to continually train your brain to think in a rational, methodical fashion.
It is easy to base your decision-making on your emotions. But with logical thinking, you need to be clear that it is not about your feelings, it is about a rational response to information presented to you.
A top tip to improving your logical thinking is to learn how to recognize when you are acting on your emotions.
It is one of the reasons why many people like to sleep on it when they have a big decision to make.
By buying themselves some time, they can confirm their initial thought process when they have had some time to think it through clearly, and rationally.
Where possible, consider the long-term effects that can be on your decisions.
Predicting the outcomes and establishing the impact on your team or your business can enable you to use this information to guide your problem-solving abilities.
Logical thinking is about being able to make rational conclusions.
Therefore, if you can identify the immediate and long-term results of those conclusions, you will be training yourself how to improve your logical thinking.
There is a reason why employers like to assess verbal reasoning skills.
This is because the possession of a wide grasp of language can help you to identify any pressing priorities or understand the implications of decisions and problems.
We mentioned earlier that you need to pay close attention to the information given to you. This is crucial when it comes to terminology and phrasing.
For example, the inclusion of words such as 'necessary', 'immediately' or 'must' imply a sense of urgency.
If we apply logical thinking to this, we can deduce that this means it’s something that is an immediate priority.
Therefore, you should always pay close attention to the words provided or the nuances of language when you start to apply logical thinking.
We all possess cognitive biases that shapes our perception and thought processes.
These are inherent to us and we may be unaware that we have these biases.
To improve your logical thinking, you need to be aware of these biases and be open-minded.
When presented with a situation, try to think about the different perspectives beyond your initial thought process.
By considering other viewpoints and considerations, you can feel more confident that you can draw a more appropriate conclusion.
Mind mapping is a way of organizing your thoughts and establishing a priority order.
You can use simple techniques to clarify your thought process and help to visualize the logical outcome of the information presented to you.
Once you have all of the options and outcomes presented to you (even just jotted onto scrap paper), you can start to establish your preferred result.
As you can see, logical thinking is a valuable skill that can bring about significant business improvement and career enhancement opportunities.
It is clear to see why employers use logical thinking tests as part of their recruitment strategies.
It allows them to proactively identify the most suitable candidates and use their logical reasoning skills to make their hiring decisions.
If you are serious about advancing your career, then focusing on your logical thinking skills can be a great investment.
Not only will it improve your decision-making and problem solving, but it will also enable you to be far more productive and garner a reputation as someone who gets things done.