Time to Think – Nancy Kline
This book helps you build a Thinking Environment.
Everything We Do Depends on The Thinking We Do First
Thinking for ourselves is still seen as quite a radical act. Traditionally, most of our societies have not created the conditions for us to think for ourselves. Many of us are therefore profoundly unsettled when confronted with the simple question: ‘What do you really think?’
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The quality of actions depends first on the quality of the thinking behind them.
The Quality of A Person’s Attention Determines the Quality of Other People’s Thinking
The mind that holds the problem also holds the solution. You help cultivate this solution discovery through the quality of your attention and listening presence.
Focus on setting up the conditions for the person to think for themselves; to access their own ideas and solutions.
How we give others our attention, listen, and say that ‘you matter’, directly correlates to the thinking quality of the person sitting in front of us.
The Ten Components of ‘The Thinking Environment’
Attention, Equality, Ease, Appreciation, Encouragement, Feelings, Information, Difference, Incisive Questions, Place.
These components can be used both at the organisational (‘The Thinking Organisation’) and at the individual level (‘The Thinking Partnership’).
All ten are important, but even just using one component will dramatically improve the quality of someone’s thinking.
Attention, the act of listening with palatable respect and fascination, is the key to a Thinking Environment. Listening of this calibre is enzymatic. When you are listening to someone, much of the quality of what you are hearing is your effect on them.
Allow Others to Speak Fully
When you interrupt or finish someone else’s sentence, you are saying that either your words will be better (or that you know their words) and that they cannot finish their own sentence. Let others do and finish their own thinking; let them formulate their thoughts; let the words be their words.
Create meeting structures where everyone has a turn to speak, knowing they will not be interrupted.
In a thinking environment, everyone is an equal, regardless of hierarchy; giving everyone a turn increases the intelligence of the group and will save time in the long run.
Listen to Surface Any Assumptions and Ask Incisive Questions
Being able to craft an incisive question can free up more thinking and thought.
A few brilliant ones for leaders to ask themselves:
If I were to be my real self in leadership, what would I do differently?
What is limiting my leadership? If I were to assume something more liberating, what would change?
Listening: Asking the Team
Ask their team:
How would your work have to change for it to be exactly right for you?
If you were not holding back, what would you be doing?
What do we already know now that we are going to find out in a year?