Learn about the traits of great critical thinkers and discover how they can help you to run a better law firm.
Critical thinkers focus on thinking clearly and rationally, making logical connections between ideas. Lawyers who are going to run the best practices are also often very strong critical thinkers.
Critical thinking is more than just the accumulation of facts and knowledge; it’s a way of interpreting the world and making decisions. Critical thinkers are focused on constantly upgrading their knowledge and keeping an open mind.
So it is obvious to see why critical thinking is invaluable to a successful law firm. It will not only help you to practice law more effectively but will help you to run a better business as well.
Learn more about the traits of successful critical thinkers and discover what you can do to improve your own critical thinking skills.
Observation is one of the first critical thinking skills we learn. This is your ability to document details and to collect data through our senses. Effective critical thinkers will uses observations to gain insight and a build deeper understanding of the situations they find themselves in. Then from this, you can make a more educated decision on what to do next.
Curiosity is a core trait of many successful law firms. Being analytical and interested in the world around you is a hallmark of strong critical thinkers. Instead of taking everything at face value, a curious person will ask why something is the way it is or try to uncover how something works.
It’s very common for people to lose their sense of curiosity and think they know everything as they grow older. If you want to remain a strong critical thinker, you must keep an open mind and must always ask questions.
This involves being conscious of your own thinking. Critical thinkers need to pay attention to how your mind is functioning, as well as its biases. This is your ability to examine your innermost thoughts, feelings, and sensations. This is also similar to self-reflection, which gives you insight into your emotional and mental state.
5. Analytical thinking
The ability to analyze information is essential if you what to be an effective critical thinker, whether it is a contract, law, marketing model or even a client/referral relationship.
Effective analytical thinking will show itself when it comes to breaking things down and searching for ways to improve or update things. This could be your firm’s marketing plan or how you onboard new clients. Look at each step of the process individually and try to make improvements from there.
6. Compassion and empathy
Having compassion and empathy may seem like a negative for critical thinkers. After all, emotions can alter how you interpret any given situation or information.
But without compassion, we would view all information and situations from the viewpoint of cold, heartless scientific facts and data. And that isn’t going to help your firm grow, or help you to create effective marketing campaigns. The best critical thinkers always consider the human element. Much like practicing law, not everything is about data and information, in fact, it’s mostly about people.
7. Effective communicators
As an attorney, you are trained to be an effective communicator, especially if you’re a litigator. But effective communication also plays a large role in critical thinking.
Critical thinking involves collecting and building your thoughts, but the next step is expressing them. Just like a great lawyer, an effective critical thinker must be able to relay their ideas in a compelling and effective way.
8. Strong listeners
Much like communicating effectively, lawyers and critical thinkers also need to be great listeners. Instead of being a passive listener during a conversation or discussion, they actively try to participate and respond.
You need to ask questions that will help you to separate facts from assumptions. Gather information and seek to gain insight by asking open-ended questions that probe deeper into the issue and make your clients feel even more valuable