Critical Thinking and Problem Solving: The Most Valuable Skills You Aren’t Honing

When we think about being critical, there is often a negative connotative feeling associated to it. While sharing your unsolicited opinion may not always side in everyone’s perspective, THINKING critically, and internally, is in your best interest. Let me explain why being judgmental, analytical, and/or critical is necessary for progressive thinking and improves our development. It’s not as boring as you’re probably assuming it is. 

To start, skepticism is essential. Requiring proof BEFORE taking sides is both smart and safe. Blindly accepting something as factual, is not just reckless, it’s potentially gravely dangerous. Electricians who work on high voltage/amperage equipment have safety checks which are verified twice. The most important person to verify that an electrical source is safe, is the electrician who will be working on the equipment. Sure you could take someone else’s word that the power is secured, but if it’s not, your life will be the one that is lost. You’re the one who has the most to lose in that situation. You must verify and prove to yourself that something is what it is because you’re the one who will be using that information. 

Our species, and many others, has survived and evolved to base our actions around an understanding of our environment – our atmosphere. This understanding is derived from our observations. Our senses guide us while we observe and experiment. This process turns our understanding into knowledge. 

Now that we have somewhat established what critical thinking is, why is it important and how do we develop this skill?

Many would argue that THINKING is somewhat important, since it has to do with absolutely everything we do. Thinking is apart of everyday life and all the decisions we make. WHAT we are THINKING is not the focal point here. HOW we are THINKING is the most important aspect. Sadly, it is hardly discussed or pointed out. Luckily, we are starting to understand that the way we think is MOST important. It trumps what people currently know. To be more specific, people who have studied for years and acquired many accredited certifications, may not understand HOW to apply what they know. You could be the best writing expert in the world, and not have the slightest bit of imagination or storytelling ability. You could be able to lift a house, yet be unable to hold your own in a fight. You may be able to build, but have no idea how to design. People need to be a wealth of information, and understand how to utilize and apply what they know – efficiently. This is the problem smart people have everywhere. It’s not WHAT you know… it’s all about HOW you apply what you know. 

We must first fill our knowledge banks. Then we must apply our know-how to our world. And we cannot just apply it, we have to apply it appropriately and efficiently. This is how we achieve optimum results. Ok, so how do we make this happen?

Practice by doing. The only effective method of improving your critical thinking/problem solving skills, is practicing them. Their are many opportunities this comes in. Anything from fixing your garbage disposal to completing a jigsaw puzzle. If you want to have a great time and maximize your practice, you should consider a game such as an escape room. Escape rooms are an absolutely fantastic method of honing your critical thinking and problem solving skills. However, the very best method (and game), is solving a crime at Solve Who. Solve Who is the most effective way to hone your critical thinking and problem solving abilities, but it is NOT an Escape Room. It employs several key aspects that escape rooms have, but it has so much more. 

You have to search for your clues like escape rooms and you have to interpret your findings, but that’s what escape rooms are limited to. Solve Who requires usage of reason and logic. People must also associate evidence they have found to suspect testimonies. There are always multiple suspects in each crime. Customers have to find and interpret the evidence then associate it to the correct suspect after critically analyzing each suspect’s testimony. There are several fundamental critical thinking and problem solving exercises customers use while enjoying the game. 

Deliberating with your peers not only builds a strong foundation for your relationships, but it also heavily relies on your those skills. Although Solve Who and escape rooms have very similar applications, they are also very different in concept. Solve Who is more focused on critical thinking, problem solving, and team building.