YOUnique4Europe - Mapping and presenting your unique personal and social competences for better employability in a digital world
ERASMUS+ : 2019-1-DE02-KA202-006119
   

 

 

 

This soft skill describes your ability to look at a thing from all sides. It combines your ability to recognize dominant thought patterns with the ability to seek other (unusual) ways of looking at things. Holistic thinking bears the danger of loosening the control caused by traditional thinking, which requires a certain degree of self-confidence.

Holistic thinking has overlaps to critical thinking because looking at things from different perspectives also allows for a weighing up of arguments and draw conclusions, e. g. in order to make decisions.


Synonyms:     Lateral thinking (in contract to vertical thinking)

Sub-Skills:      Critical thinking, strategic thinking, logical thinking, deconstruction,
                         judgement, transdiciplinarity

To demonstrate holistic thinking,
Niels suggests you:

  1. Tell fact from fiction
  2. Try to see the big picture
  3. Include other aspects - ethical, political, aesthetic, economic, legal etc. - in your own objectives and decision-making
  4. Look beyond your own work group, school, etc.
  5. Approach work more as a generalist than as a specialist

Examples - Holistic thinking


Imagine you are trying to decide what to plant in a new garden, and you choose all sorts of plants and shrubs which you like. You can't just go on buying individual plants without, sooner or later, coming to some view of the whole of the garden, otherwise you will have too many things for one part of the garden and not enough for another, or you may chose plants unsuited to the conditions, or that shade out each other. Holistic thinking enables you to deal with the garden as a whole and not just as a sum of its single parts.


At work Niels is asked to prepare a presentation on the topic of "sustainable consumption". He already knows about the climate impact of plastic packaging and waste separation. To fill his knowledge gap he researches more information on "Animals and Consumption", where he learns to include further ethical aspects (animal husbandry), political (farmers' interests) and economic (meat prices) in his own position.