Human resources are like natural resources; they get most deeply buried. They’re not just lying around on the floor, and you have to go looking for them. You must establish the conditions under which they present themselves. ― Ken Robinson
The above quote indicates the tremendous efforts human resource management requires. It is a demanding responsibility. It necessitates working around the hired resources and grooming them to provide effective results. It also involves assessing the needs of the business and then hiring the required human resource.
When assessing organizational needs, HR specialists look into the employees’ role demands, traits, and qualities. For example, certain professions require a higher level of resolve, such as healthcare workers. In contrast, some may require excellent communication skills, such as teachers. Likewise, most businesses also have specific requirements for the skills and expertise they need from the workforce.
Critical Thinkers vs. Problem Solvers
Two of the most commonly demanded skills in a workplace environment are critical thinking and problem-solving. We often see it quoted on resumes or mentioned in job advertisements. But do we know what these skills entail? Or are these some fancy phrases employers and employees both love tossing around to show they know what they are talking about actually? Before answering whether businesses need critical thinkers or problem solvers. Let us first address the elephant in the room. And that is understanding what these skills are and in what value do they add to businesses.
Who Are Critical Thinkers?
Critical thinking includes assessing and evaluating the information at hand and using it to derive conclusions and decisions. Critical thinking is a general life skill. Individuals throughout their lives come across many situations where they have to become a critical thinker and evaluate options to decide the best one.
However, in business, critical thinking is all the more necessary. Workers in an organization, be they in any position, are required to make several decisions a day. And often, the decisions may necessitate critical thinking so that the workers can reach the most fruitful conclusion. However, let us look into why is critical thinking important by evaluating the benefits they provide to businesses:
- Encourages Creativity:
Critical thinkers are not merely interested in the solution. They question information and evaluate options, which often gives birth to some creative answers. One key differentiating factor between successful and failing businesses is how creatively and uniquely they tackle their issues. Critical thinkers add to it and are a great addition to a company’s workforce pool.
- Fosters Curiosity:
Individuals who are critical thinkers have a consistently curious mind. They wonder why things work a certain way and how they can better it. Curiosity is a remarkable trait as it avoids complacency and pushes the mind to think better.
- Makes People Independent:
Critical thinkers are people who tend to trust more in their brains than the people around them. Consequently, critical thinking makes people independent. They see situations through their lens and form separate and independent opinions. This trait is often pretty advantageous in a business setting, as it allows for objective thinking that creates unique ideas.
- Better Decision-Making:
Being a critical thinker, you have the skills to evaluate options factually. Since businesses require consistent decision-making, critical thinkers can add significant value. They do not settle for merely reaching the goal. They want to take the best route to get to their target to make the most of it.
We glanced through who critical thinkers are and the advantages they add to the businesses they work for; now, let us see how problem-solvers function. And later, we shall compare who businesses need more – the critical thinkers or the problem solvers?
Who Are Problem Solvers?
Problem solvers focus on the solution. They want to answer complex situations and do this fast. They rarely add drama and are often straightforward in their thinking. Some of the characteristics of problem solvers and critical thinkers may overlap. However, problem solvers tend to focus on specific situations, whereas critical thinking is a thoughtful way of looking at everything.
When it comes to a business setting, problem solvers are pretty valuable. In complicated situations, at times, you only need to address the solution and move forward. It saves time, which is a critical resource in businesses. The process of critically analyzing all options may become too elaborate. And in such instances, problem solvers commonly save the day!
But what more do problem solvers have to offer?
- Enhance Productivity:
Productivity and efficiency are some of the concepts that businesses consider to a great extent. They increase the output produced in a given time and naturally increase an organization’s profitability levels. Problem solvers help companies to enhance their efficiency levels. They love eliminating roadblocks that are a consistent occurrence in business processes. Consequently, they are great at addressing issues and resolving them in no time.
- Fosters Emotional Intelligence:
Individuals who are problem solvers have a higher emotional quotient as well. When you encounter an issue, the personal impact is at times monumental. Individuals tend to worry, get anxious, or stress out. But problem solvers own a higher awareness and control of such emotions and instead focus on addressing the concern. This quality is impressive since handling business tasks can get too overwhelming. Worrying can cloud your thought-process and hinder your problem-solving. However, such individuals know how to keep their feelings checked and work around them to solve them.
- Prompt Decision-Making:
Like we discussed before, problem solvers are focused on the solution. They have a clear objective at hand and rarely falter. While critical thinkers analyze all options and evaluate them in-depth, problem solvers want to address and resolve them as soon as possible. It is a perfect trait as it allows for quick decision-making.
Running a business is all about juggling resources and striking the perfect mix to produce the ideal outcome. An organization is a team of some precious individuals who bring something new to the business. And this is why we believe businesses need both critical thinkers and problem solvers. Businesses need critical thinkers to foster new ideas and bring in creativity. On the other hand, problem-solving is a skill that companies require to keep thriving and staying functional. Both traits are fairly essential when we talk about running an organization. Each has its set of benefits and characteristics that can prove extremely beneficial in a business setup.