4/13/2020 3 Comments
Do you feel like you need time to think?
Since the beginning of the lockdown period many businesses have resorted to doing online team meetings. In fact, many of my clients feel like they are busier than before- going from one Zoom or Teams meeting to another. They are exhausted by the end of the day.
If you are feeling like you are spend too much time in unproductive meetings;
If your experience of meetings is often frustrating, even deadening;
If the results are too often disappointing;
If people are not inspired and re-energized, committed and clear afterwards;
then using the “Time to Think” methodology will be a breakthrough for you and your company!
After years of research and observation Nancy Kline, the founder of the Thinking Environment methodology and President of Time To Think Inc recognized that people generate their best thinking when the people around them behave in 10 specific ways. These 10 behaviours have become known as ‘The Ten Components™ of a Thinking Environment'. (see appendix)
Each of the components is valuable individually, and even just implementing one of the components will make a major difference in the quality of your meeting.
Why Is It Important For Companies?
“The quality of every single thing human beings do depends on the thinking they do first.”- Nancy Kline
A company’s success depends on the ability to generate the best decisions that lead to the best actions. Therefore, the ability to generate people’s best thinking is crucial. The Thinking Environment is a process that does just that.
Why Is It Important For Leaders?
“The first act of leadership is to create a Thinking Environment. Every subsequent act of leadership gains quality from there.”- Nancy Kline
Mastering the expertise to keep people thinking brilliantly for themselves is to fulfill your primary responsibility as a leader, and to achieve your own success. When you do, the people you lead will feel energized and engaged, face and solve problems skillfully, ask the hard questions, communicate effectively with other colleagues, develop their talents and leadership and essentially be more productive and effective.
Using Time to Think in Online Meetings
The 10 components provide a framework of how to “BE” so that we create a thinking environment for our teams. There are also various practices that we can implement.
“Rounds” is a practice where you place everyone in a virtual circle and then go you around the circle and allow each person the same amount of time to answer the question being posed. Rounds are generally 30-60 seconds per person in order to get a sense of what everyone is thinking about the topic.
Rounds become a natural part of a healthy group culture; they start and finish the meeting and they are useful at points of stickiness, conflict and uncertainty. It is important for everyone to afford each other their best attention and not interrupt. Anyone is free to “pass” if they do not feel ready or able to answer or contribute.
Thinking Pairs is another useful practice where you divide your team into pairs using the breakout room function and give each person five to ten minutes to think uninterrupted for themselves with a partner’s undivided, respectful attention. This uninterrupted thinking time can help re‐ignite thinking, come up with innovative solutions and re-energize the group.
Offering equality and the opportunity for guaranteed, uninterrupted attention is so powerful that until you’ve participated in a Thinking Pair, you can have no idea what a difference it makes to your thinking, to know you are not going to be interrupted.
If you would like to experience the “Thinking Environment” for yourself and at the same time see how you can use aspects of it to improve the effectiveness of your online team meetings, click here to join one of our 2 hour online sessions. In the session you will be introduced to the Thinking Environment components and practices while affording yourself some time to think on: “how you and or your company is being challenged by the COVID19 epidemic and what opportunities lie therein”.
As Winston Churchill said: “Never let a good crisis go to waste.”
I will not be charging for these sessions during lockdown however I will be asking for donations to go to Home of Hope for Girls. (See below)
A young woman went to her mother and told her about her life and how things were so hard for her. She did not know how she was going to make it and wanted to give up, She was tired of fighting and struggling. It seemed as one problem was solved, a new one arose. Her mother took her to the kitchen. She filled three pots with water and placed each on a high fire. Soon the pots came to boil. In the first she placed carrots, in the second she placed eggs, and in the last she placed ground coffee beans. She let them sit and boil; without saying a word. In about twenty minutes she turned off the burners. She fished the carrots out and placed them in a bowl. She pulled the eggs out and placed them in a bowl. Then she ladled the coffee out and placed it in a bowl. Turning to her daughter, she asked, ' Tell me what you see.' 'Carrots, eggs, and coffee,' she replied. Her mother brought her closer and asked her to feel the carrots. She did and noted that they were soft. The mother then asked the daughter to take an egg and break it. After pulling off the shell, she observed the hard boiled egg Finally, the mother asked the daughter to sip the coffee. The daughter smiled as she tasted its rich aroma. The daughter then asked, 'What does it mean, mother?' Her mother explained that each of these objects had faced the same adversity: boiling water. Each reacted differently. The carrot went in strong, hard, and unrelenting. However, after being subjected to the boiling water, it softened and became weak. The egg had been fragile. Its thin outer shell had protected its liquid interior, but after sitting through the boiling water, its inside became hardened. The ground coffee beans were unique, however. After they were in the boiling water, they had changed the water. 'Which are you?' she asked her daughter. 'When adversity knocks on your door, how do you respond? Are you a carrot, an egg or a coffee bean? Think of this: Which am I? Am I the carrot that seems strong, but with pain and adversity do I wilt and become soft and lose my strength? Am I the egg that starts with a malleable heart, but changes with the heat? Did I have a fluid spirit, but after a death, a breakup, a financial hardship or some other trial, have I become hardened and stiff? Does my shell look the same, but on the inside am I bitter and tough with a stiff spirit and hardened heart? Or am I like the coffee bean? The bean actually changes the hot water, the very circumstance that brings the pain. When the water gets hot, it releases the fragrance and flavor. If you are like the bean, when things are at their worst, you get better and change the situation around you. When the hour is the darkest and trials are their greatest do you elevate yourself to another level? How do you handle adversity? The happiest of people don't necessarily have the best of everything; they just make the most of everything that comes along their way. The brightest future will always be based on a forgotten past; you can't go forward in life until you let go of your past failures and heartaches.
May we all be COFFEE!!!!!!!
Dina Cramer is an internationally certified professional coach, personal and leadership development facilitator, author and single mother of 4 boys... She is passionate about Igniting Spiritual Intelligence in individuals and organizations in order to help people live and work more productively- with passion, purpose and consciousness!