Critical thinking is often seen as something you need to pursue further education, but it is also important in navigating your way through life.
Consider these thinking behaviours that are used to communicate with others.
It is important when communicating with others that you are able to communicate your thoughts and wants clearly. You may need to add more detail to your words to assist the other person to understand. You may need to provide an example of what you want. People will not always automatically what you want and you need to pay attention to making sure the other person understands.
It is important that what you say is accurate. It is more helpful to others if you give accurate information. If the information you give is inaccurate and they know that, you are less likely to achieve what you want from the communication.
Being precise is a good way to ensure the other person understands exactly what you want. Make sure you give enough detail to aid understanding.
Is what you are saying relevant to what you want? Or does it make expressing what you want to unclear so the other person is struggling to understand what you are actually saying or asking?
Depth involves thinking through the way you are going to say something to ensure the other person is able to understand. This allows you to explain any misunderstanding should it arise.
Breadth is about you considering the other person’s point of view and needs. In this way you will be able to acknowledge any difficulties they may encounter in relation to what you are communicating and will also increase your chance of achieving an outcome you are happy with.
As you prepare to say something, consider whether it makes sense. It is hard to understand another person if their words do not make sense. Using too many words or trying to fit too many concepts into what you are saying make understanding of your communication difficult. It is better to present one idea at a time and work through your ideas logically.
It is important to appear fair in what you say. Show through the way you put the words together that you have considered the other person’s needs. Ensure you have considered whether your request is fair and show that through the way you acknowledge the other person’s needs. Indicate a willingness to find a solution that will suit both of you.
Make sure you focus your words on the most important part of the communication. This allows the other person to understand its importance. Too many ideas and the wrong focus can lead to the other person not understanding what you are saying and thinking the focus is something else. So think about what you are going to say and ask yourself which words are the most important and what is the most important thing you want the other person to know.