Critical Thinking – the art of asking good questions

Critical Thinking on high demand

According to the report Future of Jobs Report 2020, created by World Economic Forum, in ​2025 critical thinking will be one of the most important skills at work. “Half of us will need to reskill in the next five years, as the “double-disruption” of the economic impacts of the pandemic and increasing automation transforming jobs takes hold.” – World Economic Forum sais. That is why we need to learn and use skills highlighted in the report. Among them – critical thinking.


critical thinkins is one of the top skills of future


Problems with thinking critically

  • There are many definitions of what critical thinking is
  • It is not part of education – we don’t know how to do it
  • Thinking leads to discovering things we don’t know – this brings discomfort
  • We don’t have time to Stop & Think
  • It is difficult to measure the result


What is Critical Thinking

One of the definitions of critical thinking reads:

„We understand critical thinking to be purposeful, self-regulatory judgment which results in interpretation, analysis, evaluation, and inference, as well as explanation of the evidential, conceptual, methodological, criteriological, or contextual considerations upon which that judgment is based. CT is essential as a tool of inquiry. (…).” ​- Critical Thinking: A Statement of Expert Consensus for Purposes of Educational Assessment and Instruction (1988)​

​We can say that critical thinking is the development of a robust answer to a question.

Remember, that critical thinking is NOT:

  • Criticism 
  • Looking for errors and mistakes to point them out


What critical thinking enable​s

The list is long. We can find on it for example:

  • Creating hypothesis, collecting data, analysis  
  • Verifying sources 
  • Processing information
  • Thinking of your thinking
  • Telling fact from opinion
  • Thinking of consequences
  • Ability to create logical connections
  • Questioning what is „obvious”, noticing assumptions and biases

So how to do it? By asking good questions!

Critical Thinking is a lot about asking better questions​. They open new perspectives, create a dialog, engage.


How to ask good questions?

  1. Hold your hypotheses loosely
  2. Listen more than you talk
  3. Leave your queries open-ended
  4. Stew in a problem
  5. Ask the hard follow-up questions
  6. Be curious


Pitfalls when asking questions

  • Closed-Ended Questions
  • Leading Questions
  • Overwhelming or Compex Questions
  • Assuming Understanding
  • „Machine gun” of questioning
  • Lack of Active Listening

​To ask good questions, do the opposite…


How to become an artist of good questions

  • Be curious & Listen actively
  • Seek clarity & Start with „What” & „How”
  • Avoid leading or biased questions
  • Practice empathy & Be patient 
  • Be open-minded
  • Reflect on your questions
  • Practice regularly


If you want to learn more about this topic, check the full webinar: Critical Thinking: The Art of Asking Good Questions.


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Photo by Dollar Gill on Unsplash