What careers pay for abstract thinking

Analytical thinking: that's why it's so important

In job offers, the wish is repeatedly expressed that applicants have analytical thinking should be able to. In addition to the indispensable professional competence and various other skills, this ability is an often required requirement for the position. Analytical thinking is one of the soft skills and is therefore easily classified as a minor matter by some applicants. In fact, however, it can make a decisive difference in your job, whether it be success or failure. What is meant by this and how you can train your analytical skills ...

➠ Content: This is what awaits you

➠ Content: This is what awaits you

Analytical thinking Definition: what does it mean?

Many people associate analytical thinking with analysis and logic. Especially in the case of logic, images of Columns of numbers and complicated math problems before the inner eye.

Analytical skills and logical thinking don't necessarily have to do with how fast we are at math. Rather, analytical thinking describes the ability to identify and solve problems in general. That sets certain thought processes ahead, in which causalities are recognized.

Anyone who thinks analytically examines what causes what consequences under what circumstances. Simply put, it becomes a matter of fact under the point of view if then… examined. Analytical thinking essentially runs in three steps from:

  1. Problem recording: They recognize a problem as such.
  2. Contextualization: You can place it in a larger context, recognize partial aspects and interpret the situation correctly.
  3. Solution development: You can derive a solution from the overall context.

Analytical skills important in professional life

Analytical thinking is especially in demand when a job is frequent associated with changes is. A highly routine activity such as assembly line work does not require any special analytical skills on the part of the employee.

It starts with your studies. The prerequisite is to approach things as systematically as possible from a scientific point of view. A fact becomes for it first described, then different perspectives follow (for example in the form of controversies), a classification into the bigger picture, until in the end certain logical conclusions can be derived from it.

Later in professional life, analytical thinking is important for employers of great importance, because it gives them a greater likelihood that an employee will not just push the job according to the rules, but also get involved for the good of the company.

He recognizes errors and works actively to solve them. This soft skill is indispensable for certain professions, as technical innovations are an integral part, for example in engineering professions. But management consultancies, doctors and criminologists cannot do without analytical thinking either.

And it is by no means only important in the case of errors and problems. Rather, it is always in demand when it comes to optimizing processes stay competitive. This often requires lateral thinking, which is why this ability often goes hand in hand with creativity and flexibility.

The need for analyzes ultimately arises in all professional fields, for example:

  • ABC analysis in strategy development
  • Balance sheet analysis in accounting (controlling)
  • Customer analysis in marketing
  • Feasibility study in construction
  • Risk analysis in product management
  • Damage analysis in quality management
  • Value analysis in purchasing
  • Competitive analysis in sales

Analytical ability no protection against conspiracy theories

One might think that analytical thinking is the best protection before irrationality, superstition and conspiracy theories. Ultimately, it enables people to examine complex issues and make rational decisions based on the information available.

Previous studies assumed that alone was certain strong cognitive abilities sufficient to proceed analytically. A generally better education was taken as evidence that someone pays less attention to paranormal things.

The psychologist Tomas Stahl from the University of Illinois in Chicago and his colleague Jan-Willem van Prooijen from the Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam were able to determine in their studies that the analytical thinking ability alone is not enough.

Rather, in addition to analytical thinking, there must be a desire To grasp things rationally and rely on logic and evidence.

Analytical thinking in the application process

Analytical thinking is therefore almost always Part of recruitment tests, as often in the form of text analysis tasks. It can just as easily be queried in the interview itself.

These include so-called Fermi or guessing questions, named after the Italian nuclear physicist Enrico Fermi. An example of this would be the question:

How many chocolates fit in a Smart?

But don't worry if you can't name a specific number like a bullet. These questions are never about an exact answer. Rather, recruiters try yours Understand the thought process. And it is your job to structure it clearly.

All it takes for the job is some basic information (You know that a Smart is a small car), so a healthy general knowledge and analytical thinking. You then begin to break down tasks into sub-tasks and approach the solution in several steps.

It works in a similar way with case studies in the assessment center. A problematic scene is created (such as lost sales), and then you have to argue comprehensiblyhow you would help solve the problem. With the help of such tasks, HR managers try to depict situations from later everyday working life as realistic as possible.

Reading recommendations for tasks in the application process

Expertise alone is not enough

Expertise may be the door opener, but whether you are in one Companies can existdepends on other things. It is not for nothing that the term “technical idiots” is sometimes derogatory. Because analytical thinking enables you to abstract knowledge gained through specialist knowledge and experience and to apply it to other areas.

Someone else likes one higher factual knowledge than you own - that does not say whether he can think analytically. The ability to form associations and to fall back on memories supports the analysis process. Soft skills such as analytical thinking are therefore often fed by learning processes that are gained through social interaction.

Therefore, despite all prophecies of doom, hobbies and / or volunteering should not be underestimated in the résumé, especially for young professionals.

You can contact the recruiter for an application Give clues about itthe extent to which the so-called soft factors are pronounced in addition to training or studies. Because they can seldom be learned from books.

Practice analytical thinking

The question arises as to how analytical thinking can be trained or learned. As mentioned at the beginning, you do not need a degree in mathematics, although the basic arithmetic operations should be available. In addition to general knowledge, yours is more important personal approach.

Anyone who is otherwise rather chaotic and impulsive should seek a organized and structured approach strive. In addition, various tests (see box above) can be used to practice application situations. A playful (somewhat more complex) way to train analytical thinking are games in which a strategic approach is required.

You can do this Board games like chess or card games like poker belong. Another possibility are simulation games, which can convey important skills in a mixture of social and technical components. For example, a flight simulator is used for pilots in training.

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