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Time To think by Nancy Kline is one of my favourite books and has influenced my coaching style more most.

In the first part of the book, Kline outlines the 10 components that create a thinking environment: attention, incisive questions, equality, appreciation, ease, encouragement, feelings, information sometimes, place, and diversity.

The first two components of attention and incisive questions are the most important: Whilst demonstrating that they are being attentive to the speaker, the listener must ensure that they allow individuals to speak uninterrupted. By doing so, individuals are more likely to feel free to allow their mind to consider possibilities that they would never have considered if they had been interrupted or felt limited by time.

The model of incisive questions is explored in the second part of the book under the “Thinking Partnership”. Kline explains how limiting beliefs can be identified and then removed through the use of ‘Incisive Questions’. This is a key technique that is used to open up the thinker to reach more substantial conclusions or insight in their key issues.

In the second half of the book, Kline describes how the thinking environment can been applied in organisations, and describes a model that can make meetings become more effective. The model for a Thinking Partnership is accompanied by a case study which brings the power of the intervention to life.

In the final part of the book, Kline describes how the thinking environment can be applied in a range of settings: health, education, politics, relationships and the family.

This book not only influenced my coaching but also influenced how I live. It influenced my interactions with family, friends and colleagues, and also my home and work environments. The below question, asked in the book, really resonated with me:

What would you have to change about your work space, or even your home, for it to say back to you, ‘you matter’?



Below are some quotes from the book:

The quality of a person’s attention determines the quality of other people’s thinking’.

If you were not to hold back in life, what would you be doing?

If you knew you are beautiful just a you are, what would you be doing?

If you want to take action, but you are stuck, ask yourself, “What am I assuming here that is stopping me?”

If I knew that I do deserve success here, what would I do right now?

What am I assuming that is making me feel depressed?

What do you think should be do done about that?

We all become seed sowers of confidence and intelligence in the people around is by doing this simple thing (showing appreciation)

To pay attention with a heart and mind at ease is what produces results.

Thinking clearly and for yourself is the thing on which everything else depends.

Ease creates. Urgency destroys.

What do you already know that you are going to find out in a year?

What would you have to change about your work space, or even your home, for it to say back to you, ‘you matter’?

What are you assuming that could be limiting your ideas here?

Ease is a presence defined by an absence. An absence of tension or rush. It allows the human mind to broaden and reach.

There is only one thing on which virtually everything else in our lives depends. That is the quality of our thinking.

We need to value our minds enough to put time to think into our diaries, to be willing to build other things around it.

Time is what it takes to build a dream thats worth the while.

There is so much to do. There is so little time. We must go slowly.

To take time to think is to gain time to live.

If I knew that my body belongs only to me, not to doctors, not to cancer, not to the worried people around me, what would I do in this situation?

I now think that our bodies know what they need and that if we listen to them, they tell us more than we can imagine.

Much of what strains and breaks down the body is the presence, in a physical form, of limiting bedrock assumptions.

Our bodies are a reflection of whats going on in our emotional life

What am I assuming that may be hurting my body?

You are worth anything it takes to stay rested, happy and deeply tuned in to the people you serve.

  • What did you do yesterday that you feel good about today?
  • If you knew that you can think about this very well…
  • If you knew that I respect you as a thinker…
  • If you know that you are good and worthy of good outcomes…
  • If you knew that I am not judging you or evaluating you…
  • If you knew that I will not interrupt you…
  • If you knew that you are in charge of this session…
  • If you knew that I will be confidential with everything you say…
  • If you knew that people from your background can think brilliantly…
  • If you knew that you can come up with better ideas than mine…

…what would you think and say next?