Practical Thinking: Use these sample phrases to craft meaningful performance evaluations, drive change and motivate your workforce.

Practical Thinking is the skill to think creatively about projects or work that requires your full attention to be completed and to bring great results.

Practical Thinking: Exceeds Expectations Phrases

  • Breaks down a problem into its specific components instead of dealing with it as a whole
  • Makes lists, organizes things and uses a lot of detail in order to keep a problem in an orderly manner
  • Asks hard questions, uses diagrams and illustrations or tries to do whatever possible to solve a problem
  • Makes sure that one has a good grasp of the situation at hand and the tools with which one can solve it
  • Pays attention to how a person is framing a problem in order to know the real cause and think of ways on how to solve it
  • Objectively analyzes information or situation by gathering lots of facts or information from different sources
  • Evaluates the situation at hand based on the information one has gathered in order to come up with suggestions on how to solve it
  • Investigates things for oneself rather than assuming that the other person knows what he/she is talking about
  • Asks questions about the situation and about the person who caused it and tries to look for answers to these questions
  • Comes up with "outside the box" and unusual strategies in order to cope with unusual events in the workplace

Practical Thinking: Meets Expectations Phrases

  • Volunteers in community activities in order to have a new look of the world and think practically
  • Tries new things and gets outside own comfort zone in order to improve one's ability to think practically
  • Takes the time to learn at least one more language in order to introduce oneself to new methods of thinking
  • Practices mindfulness in order to ease mental problems and think in an effective way
  • Takes problems one by one wherever possible and states each problem as precisely and clearly as one can
  • Takes the time to differentiate good sources of information from the bad ones in order to get the right information
  • Sets aside the problems over which one has no control and concentrates own efforts on those that one can potentially solve
  • Figures out the information one needs to solve a particular situation and actively seeks that information
  • Carefully analyzes and interprets information that one has collected and draws reasonable inferences
  • Evaluates own options taking into account their pros and cons in the situation one is in

Practical Thinking: Needs Improvement Phrases

  • Analyzes small things until they become bigger and scarier leading to a negative view of those things
  • Falls into the trap of worrying too much about what others will say or think about one's ideas and lets that paralyze one from taking action
  • Focuses on perfection; spends plenty of time looking for a problem in the provided information even when there is none
  • Slips into thinking of oneself as a victim that has little or no control over the situation at hand instead of facing the situation head on
  • Compares oneself to other employees, their lives, and their positions at work and in the society, which causes unhappiness, frustrations, and low self-esteem
  • Assumes that one already knows something and thus does not take the time actually to learn it
  • Evaluates a situation based on assumptions from other people instead of investigating things for oneself
  • Looks at the situation at hand from only one point of view, and examines only a few factors thus makes premature decisions
  • Insists that everyone else is wrong and therefore does not consider other people's ideas or way of thinking
  • Looks at the situation with bias or prejudice instead of approaching it with a clear and open mind

Practical Thinking: Self Evaluation Questions

  • Describe a situation that required you to think practically at work. What steps did you take to accomplish this?
  • Some situations require one to think in a practical manner while others require critical thinking. Can you give an example when you have used the two strategies to solve a problem at work?
  • What are some of the challenges that you have faced when thinking practically? How have you faced these challenges?
  • Describe a project that went wrong due to poor practical thinking strategies. How did the problem occur and how did you solve it?
  • How have you helped other employees improve their ability to think practically? How has this benefited the company?
  • How do you ensure that a certain source of information is reliable? Is there a time when you have made mistakes because someone had given you the wrong information? How did you handle the situation?
  • How have you involved others in practical thinking? Give an example of the last time you did this at work
  • Describe a project that was successful because of your ability to think practically. What was your role?
  • Describe a time when you have had to analyze a problem and come up with possible solutions. How did you go about it?
  • What have you done to improve your practical thinking skills? How has this helped your career life?

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