Conceptual skills are utilized in many areas of life, but often have to be developed in order to be effective. Children begin learning how to think conceptually when their ideas, beliefs and values are challenged. Adults utilize conceptual skills in business and professional life, education and in their personal lives. Improving conceptual skills requires both education and effort, as this is not a skill set that comes naturally to everyone.
Thinking conceptually requires that an individual can look at a picture as a whole rather than just seeing parts of it. This is developed by thinking critically about a subject and analyzing the ways that an action would affect the outcome. Planning for the future is a way to improve conceptual skills in this area because it requires looking at how actions and goals will affect the future. An individual needs to be able to see the long-term possibilities of a situation to improve his conceptual skills. Writing down goals is an effective way to begin the process of planning for the future and, therefore, develop greater conceptual skills.
These skills are often used in areas of business management and professional life. A manager of a business, particularly at a higher level, needs to be able to find areas that can help improve the way that a business is being operated. Speaking with other managers, taking seminars on business management and reading about successful businesses can all help an individual improve their conceptual skills in this area. Finding a mentor is also helpful, as a person with more experience will be able to talk with a manager about conceptualizing greater things for the business.
Developing conceptual skills in personal life can be done through the use of journaling and talking with others. This can help an individual see patterns in his life that might need to be changed, which affects the way an individual is able to plan for the future and help himself get ahead. Activities such as volunteering or learning a new hobby helps to expand an individual's awareness of the world around him and his own talents.
Gaining further education, whether another degree or simply taking classes, is a way to improve conceptual skills. Education helps to expand an individual's perspective, which gives him a larger worldview. This worldview will apply to different parts of a person's life from work to home, providing a different way of thinking about these situations.