What’s more important? Intelligence or critical thinking?
There’s an emerging thought that whilst human intelligence helps people get good grades leading to good jobs, making good life decisions and staying out of gaol (mostly), it doesn’t make them healthier or happier or live any longer. Most people aspire to be smarter however it’s a sad fact that your level of intelligence is determined by genetics. It’s hard to grow more intelligence!
What isn’t hard to do however, is work hard and think critically, an ability not measured or captured by an IQ test. Critical thinking is the ability to think rationally, put aside biases and hindsight and possibly be a devil’s advocate, an amiable sceptic as described by Heather A. Butler in her paper “Why do smart people do foolish things”. It is possible to train yourself to think more critically and I believe those of us in business need to gather intellectual resources to build a sustainable competitive advantage. For those of us whose job it is to solve client problems, a healthy dose of both attributes is essential.
Surveys show that critical thinkers experience fewer negative life events and is associated with wellness and longevity. The best part is that you can improve your critical thinking skills! Food for thought……