Communication and critical thinking are connected in many important ways. On a basic level, the ability to think critically, reason through a problem, and develop a cogent argument or explanation is important for all types of daily communication. People with the capability to really think about an issue and see it from a different perspective will then most likely be better communicators, and be less likely to react quickly in anger. On another level, critical thinkers often examine the way other people are thinking and making their arguments before they choose to respond themselves. This type of analysis is another very important aspect of the connection of communication to critical thinking.
In many cases, problems with communication are based on an inability to think critically about a situation, and see it from different perspectives. Communication and critical thinking are linked in this way because people who do possess the ability to problem-solve and consider other perspectives tend to be better communicators than those who do not. Though this is important for friendly argument and debate, it is also beneficial for all different types of communication, including workplace relationships, friendships, and romantic relationships. Despite this, many people are never taught the positive link between communication and critical thinking.
Another important link between communication and critical thinking is the ability to learn how to follow another person's thought process and line of reasoning. An individual who is able to think critically about how another person is making an argument will be able to formulate a more effective response, more quickly, than someone who is not. In certain practices such as law, this skill can be invaluable. Fortunately, it is something that can be learned and practiced, and is certainly a skill that can be improved over time; by the same token, however, it cannot be learned overnight, and must be developed with practice and experience..
In some situations, critical thinking ability improves communication in an indirect way. Someone who is interested in a certain topic, for instance, and has the ability to think and form questions about what he or she still needs to learn, will likely take steps to gain this knowledge. Increased knowledge and wisdom will always be beneficial in different types of communications with others. Regardless, recognizing the important links between communication and critical thinking skills is important for people of all ages and all professions; educators especially may want to bring some of this theory into their lesson plans in order to teach students not just how to solve problems, but how to be better communicators in the process.