7 Top Traits of a Critical Thinker

critical thinker

When we face a problem, or plan something—or even when we have to make a decision—the first step is thinking. When we are thinking about solving a problem, it becomes very important that our thinking process is in the right direction so that the results can be fruitful.

Neil is a successful entrepreneur. He has worked really hard to reach this stage and says that he has faced many situations where his business was in trouble or he had to make some crucial decision. He uses critical thinking for the way out of those situations and admits that he has been successful on most occasions.

Critical thinking is clear, rational, open-minded and informed by evidence. An individual using this form of thinking is able to relate ideas and thoughts within a practical situation. Worldwide workshops and training are conducted to develop this form of thinking in adults as well as children. It is also one of the most important life skills needed to be successful.

Most of the successful politicians, businessmen and leaders possess the quality of being a critical thinker. It is not that difficult to be a critical thinker. One just has to be wary of some traits and characteristics of a person who thinks critically.

Qualities of a critical thinker

  1. Critical thinkers are objective in their approach: Critical thinking is fair and focused. Critical thinkers are not biased, nor are they affected by emotions, situations and any other internal or external influence. They know their goals and work towards them.
  2. Critical thinkers are rational and not impulsive: While making a decision, critical thinkers always weigh the pros and cons of the situation. They are not impulsive and always think logically before putting their ideas into action.
  3. Critical but creative: Thinking out of the box has resulted in many great inventions. Critical thinkers are aware of that and do give a fair chance to new and creative ideas.

    Rachel is heading the marketing division of a telecom company. She strongly believes in involving her core team in discussions about any new ideas for creativity. They shortlist the best concepts and strategies, discuss their pros and cons, consult with seniors and board members, consider past cases and then make a fair decision.

  4. Creative thinkers are modest and humble: One great quality of critical thinkers is modesty. They are always learning and are open to suggestions and new ideas. They do not think that they are the best.
  5. Critical thinkers are reflective in their approach: Not only are they creative and rational, critical thinkers also take their previous knowledge and experiences into account and try to relate their current knowledge to past evidence.
  6. Critical thinkers are  People who are critical are always curious for more knowledge and are ready to research the topic if they are not satisfied with an idea or plan. They just do not settle for anything that they are not convinced of.
  7. Critical thinkers are keen observers and active listeners: They listen to others and are always open to discussions on their ideas and decisions.


Success does not come easy. Great ideas need to be implemented with strong planning, so that the execution is a success. Critical thinking makes this possible.

Even in our daily lives, we encounter many situations where, if we try to think critically, the results will be better. It is not necessary that you have all the traits of a critical thinker, but you may apply what suits your situation best and work on your problems and situations to make life a little more easy and successful.

Believe what you like, but don’t believe everything you read without questioning it. ~ Pauline Baynes (Tweet this)

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About the Author

Varsha Tyagi is a Master's in Psychology with 5 years of Experience as a Life Skills Coach and a Counseling Psychologist. She has worked with many schools, colleges and corporates as a Counselor and a Life Skills Trainer and dealt with both children and adults. She is currently working as a Life Skills Facilitator with an organization.

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