Critical Thinking and Problem Solving have been identified as essential skills for soldiers. Problem Solving is defined as a step-by step process defining the problem, searching for information. The goal of Problem Solving is to find and implement a solution, usually to a well-defined and well-structured problem. Critical Thinking is a broader term describing reasoning in an open ended manner, with an ultimate number of solutions. The Critical Process involves constructing the situation and supporting the reasoning behind a solution. Traditionally, Critical Thinking and Problem Solving have been associated with different fields: Critical Thinking is rooted in the behavioral science, whereas problem solving is associated with math and science disciplines. Although a difference is made between the two concepts, in real life situations the terms Critical Thinking and Problem Solving are often used interchangeably. In addition, assessment test frequently overlap or measure both skills.
Problem Solving is understanding the problem, being able to obtain background knowledge, generating possible solutions, identifying and evaluating the process, and exhibiting problem solving dispositions. It is easy to fall into routine ways of thinking instead of being creative. The accompanying display list some common barriers to creative thinking. A major block to creativity is groupthink. Soldiers who engage in groupthink generally, wish to avoid interpersonal conflict (this is in my point of view). It takes intellectual courage to think something new and different from one’s peers, and then act on those thoughts. Independent Thinking is a hallmark of person who think critically and creatively. Critical Thinking include Problem Solving and decision making processes. People use Problem Solving in their lives. With the Problem Solving method, problems are identified, information is gathered, a specific problems is named, a plan for solving the problems is developed, the plan is put into action, and results of the plan are evaluated.
However, this kind of Problems Solving is frequently based on incomplete data, and plans are sometimes based on incomplete data, and plans are sometimes based on guesses. The NCO’s uses the nonverbal communications to identify and to makes decisions about soldier’s needs. It is a systematic and scientifically based process that requires the use of many cognitive and psychomotor skills.