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What Are the Best Tips for Improving Conceptual Skills?

By Jennifer Leigh
Updated Mar 03, 2024
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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.

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Discussion Comments
By anon992844 — On Oct 06, 2015

Then how about planning for different scenarios based on your instincts? Instincts usually save us from oblivion that we can't even notice or see it, but when you trust it then you can be saved by knowing it that is just an hunch, then when you did it. Afterward, suddenly you realize that you are glad you followed your conscience.

By bear78 — On Nov 04, 2014

Most of us are not very familiar with this term but we do know what means. Most people talk about this idea as the ability to see the bigger picture and the ability to theorize and assess possibilities. I'm not too great at it either but my wife is and speaking to her about a situation is always very helpful. We look at it from different perspectives and together we get a better, more accurate grasp of the issue at hand.

People should always discuss these ideas with one another. Bouncing ideas off others is great to fill in the gaps of our own thinking. Regardless of how intelligent we are, sometimes it's just very difficult to think in different ways.

By fBoyle — On Nov 04, 2014

@serenesurface-- What if you were to plan for different scenarios?

I don't know if culture or worldview affects whether people can think conceptually or not but I think that if you put your mind to it, you can develop it. Since you don't believe that the future is predictable, why don't you try to come up with several possible scenarios and then try to plan what you could do in each scenario? That would be a fantastic way to develop conceptual thinking skills. And it won't seem useless to you because the chances are, one of the scenarios you thought of may become reality.

By serenesurface — On Nov 03, 2014

I find it very difficult to think conceptually, particularly when it comes to planning for the future. I think part of it has to do with my culture and my family's culture. We have a culture where planning ahead seems a little silly because we believe we can't predict the future and things will happen as they will. So it's very hard for me to sit down and plan ahead about something. I can't help but think that it's a useless effort and it's bound to not be helpful because the circumstances will change.

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