Logical thinking in the workplace
Logical thinking is an important skill that many employers value in their employees. Thinking logically means being able to focus on a task and find correlations between pieces of data or information and use these correlations to come to a viable solution. This skill is necessary for a variety of professions and can ultimately benefit any type of professional. Here we explore what logical thinking is, why it's important, how to think logically, and how to show your logical thinking abilities in a job interview.
What is logical thinking?
Logical thinking is a skill that involves using reasoning in a way that allows an individual to come to a viable solution. This skill allows someone to accurately analyze a situation, make any connections between data, and use the information gathered to solve the problem. Logical thinking requires several reasoning skills and the ability to look at a situation objectively and work towards a solution based on the facts at hand.
Why is thinking logically important?
Being able to think logically is important because it allows you to solve problems in relation to your work. Professionals at any level can benefit from this skill and will see improvements in their career the more they practice it.
Additional reasons why logical thinking skills are important include that they:
- Enable you to correlate data, events, and information in a successful manner
- Help minimize the chance of making mistakes in terms of solving problems and suggesting solutions
- Can increase your effectiveness in the workplace and boost your success and productivity by ensuring you’re using the right strategies
- Help to reduce wasted time by allowing you to quickly see which information is relevant to an issue and which information is not
- Can increase your ability to effectively communicate
- Support good decision-making skills
How to think logically
The following are steps you can take to use logical thinking in the workplace:
1. Take time to practice your ability to think logically
Logical thinking is a skill, and like other skills, it must be practiced in order to get good at it. There are several ways you can enhance your ability to think logically, including by:
- Participating in creative activities. Creative activities such as playing music, writing, or painting can support logical thinking by getting the brain to work in a different and more creative way. Many creative activities require concentration and thought, and the more you work toward a particular creative goal, the better you’ll be able to solve problems by thinking creatively and keeping an open and flexible mindset.
- Spend time learning a new skill. Expanding your knowledge by learning a new skill will help stimulate your mind and encourage better logical thinking. Many skills require you to carefully plan and think about the skill as well as approach the situation in a thoughtful manner. This can contribute to getting your mind used to learning and thinking in new ways and promote more effective logic skills.
- Ask questions. Asking questions about things you usually wouldn’t question can help get you in the mindset of evaluating various answers to one question and weighing each answer based on the information you’ve been provided. For example, if you work in the graphic design department of your organization but want to learn more about how the marketing department works, consider asking questions of members of this department and expand your knowledge as much as possible. This will help you use critical thinking to connect how the marketing department relates to the graphic design department, which is a form of thinking logically.
2. Get familiar with the different kinds of logical reasoning
There are three different types of logical reasoning, including:
- Deductive reasoning: This is the process of reaching a conclusion by examining possible hypotheses.
- Abductive reasoning: This involves coming to a conclusion using the information you already know.
- Inductive reasoning: This form of reasoning makes broad generalizations from exact data or observations.
All three types of reasoning are important, and knowing which one to use in a given situation will allow you to successfully use logic skills in the workplace.
3. Keep your emotions out of it
When trying to solve a problem, it can be easy to get swept up in emotions, especially if it’s a stressful situation. But, emotions will only cloud your head and distract you from coming to effective conclusions and making solid decisions. If you are thinking emotionally rather than logically, take a break and return to the problem once you’re able to clear your mind.
4. Know what your goal is
Going into a situation with a clear end-goal in mind is essential to effective logical thinking. Without a clear goal, you’re susceptible to distraction and can easily get sidetracked.
How to show logical thinking during a job interview
Many interviewers don’t ask questions directly related to thinking logically, but rather will frame questions in a way that encourages you to demonstrate your ability to use logic skills. To show logical thinking during an interview, use these steps:
- Talk about the steps you took or would take for a given situation. Show the interviewer the process you’d use to get to a decision or provide an example of how you did so in the past. Factors to include in these steps are questions you would ask, data you would analyze, and additional research you would perform to come to a viable conclusion.
- Provide multiple solutions to a given problem. Some interviewers will ask you to solve a hypothetical problem to show you can think logically. Offering multiple possible solutions for the issue shows you’re able to think beyond the obvious answer.
- Show you’re open to new ideas and concepts. An important part of thinking logically is being willing to explore new ideas and concepts. Demonstrate your open-mindedness in the interview and how you’ve benefited from being open-minded in previous positions.
- Prove your track record for thinking logically. The more experience you have thinking logically, the more attractive of a candidate you’ll be. Mention examples of times you’ve successfully used logic skills in previous positions and how those skills have helped you come to important and effective decisions.