The Importance of Logical Thinking in the Workplace
What is logical thinking and why is it important to employers? The word "logic" comes from the Greek word meaning "reason." Employers place a high value on workers who display strong logical thinking or reasoning skills because their decision making is based on factual data. In most cases, organizations don’t want employees making decisions influenced by emotions instead of facts.
What Is Logical Thinking?
Logical thinkers observe and analyze phenomena, reactions, and feedback and then draw conclusions based on that input. They can justify their strategies, actions, and decisions based on the facts they gather.
Logical thinkers don't go with their gut or develop a strategy because it "feels right." Logical thinking also requires setting aside assumptions and biases.
Example: A sales representative modifies a presentation about a product to highlight its user-friendly qualities after receiving feedback from customers indicating that ease of use was the primary reason that they had purchased the product.
Logical thinkers can also reason deductively. They can identify an acceptable premise and apply it to situations that they encounter on the job.
Example: An organization may work with a core belief that employees are more productive if they have control over the ways they carry out their responsibilities. A manager could demonstrate logical thinking using deductive reasoning by meeting with subordinates, communicating department goals, and structuring a brainstorming session for staff to decide methods for reaching those objectives.
Examples of Logical Thinking
The following are some examples of logical thinking in the workplace. Take a look at this list, and think about situations at work where you have used logic and facts — rather than feelings — to work toward a solution or set a course of action.
- Conducting market research tests to gauge consumer reaction to a new product prior to devising an advertising strategy.
- Developing a recruiting profile for new sales representatives based on an assessment of the qualities of the company's most productive sales representatives.
- Recommending a strategy for quitting smoking after reviewing the latest studies on smoking cessation.
- Analyzing reviews by restaurant customers prior to structuring training protocols.
- Surveying employees about their preferences for employee benefits before finalizing contracts with vendors.
- Soliciting feedback from users about their experience with software prior to creating the next generation.
- Deciding whom to designate as team leader after comparing the past evidence of leadership behaviors by prospective candidates.
- Interviewing departing employees to uncover patterns of unwanted turnover.
- Reaching out to colleagues at other organizations to discover high-impact practices prior to finalizing strategy for the next cycle.
- Creating campaign slogans based on an assessment of hot-button issues for potential voters.
- A contractor recommending extra insulation, high-efficiency heating, cooling equipment and appliances, and a passive solar design to a customer who wants the most energy-efficient home possible.
Logical thinking helps all employees process facts and implement reasonable solutions rather than act on their emotions. A strategy set based on logic is also more compelling to other employees than a feeling-based strategy.
How to Demonstrate Logical Thinking as a Candidate
During job interviews, you likely won't hear an interview question that directly mentions logical thinking. That is, interviewers won't say, "Tell me an example of a time you used logic at work." Instead, an interviewer may say, "Tell me about the steps you took to determine the next steps in that project you mentioned." Or, they may ask, "How would you respond if a newly launched product received negative feedback?"
In your answers to questions like this, you want to outline the steps you'd take for the given scenario. Walk through the process you'd use to arrive at a decision — or share an example of how you set a strategy in the past. You can talk about what questions you asked, data you pulled, or research you analyzed to come to conclusions. This will help show your logical thinking skills.
You can also emphasize logical thinking abilities in your resume or cover letter. Again, you'll just want to outline your process. For instance, instead of simply saying, "Created a new training program," you could add more details. For instance: "Solicited and analyzed customer feedback, then created a new employee training program to address areas of weakness and standardize employee performance."
As a reminder, employers seek candidates with a track record of logical thinking because it ensures a smooth decision-making process.