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Thinking Environment


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© 2003 A H A Frost


The Thinking Environment™ creates an environment of trust and confidentiality in which a person can feel able to think freely and deeply for themselves.

'It is based on the observation that the quality of what we do depends on the thinking we do first; and the quality of our thinking depends on the quality of our attention for each other. Incisive, fresh thinking does not emerge by chance; nor is it determined primarily by IQ, education, status, gender or background. Good thinking is a function of high quality human interaction. This model identifies [and creates] conditions under which the human mind is set free to think boldly, humanly and imaginatively'1

There are four stages to this thinking process, and the stages run smoothly from one to the next or back again, helped by the skill and facilitation of the Thinking Partner.

Stage 1 Free Exploration

The Thinker allows their thoughts to roam freely over all the subjects that come to mind. Because there are no interruptions, their mind can travel widely, discovering new, fresh insights and reaching new depths. The quality and freedom of the thinking is enhanced by the Thinker speaking their thoughts in an environment which has some very special characteristics:

  1. The Thinker and Thinking Partner are alone together – in person or on the telephone.
  2. The Thinker is not interrupted at any time AND knows they will not be interrupted.
  3. Whatever is said in the thinking session is confidential between the Thinker and the Thinking Partner.
  4. The Thinking Partner's role is to give full and undivided attention to the Thinker.
  5. There is no rush or urgency.

This stage usually comes to a natural end or reaches an agreed time limit, having 'opened' the Thinker's mind so she or he can decide what more they would like to achieve in the session.

Stage 2 Session Goal

The Thinker decides what more they would like to achieve in the session.

Stage 3 Finding the Limiting Assumption

This part flows naturally from Stage 2. It is an examination of the assumptions being made which are standing in the way of achieving the goal of the session.

Stage 4 Removing the Limiting Assumption

The aim of Stage 4 is to help the Thinker break free of key limiting assumptions. This enables them to see what life would be like having achieved the session goal or to see a clear path to achieving that goal.

The Thinking Environment™ model provides the Thinker with a framework in which to think for themselves, and such thought is powerful beyond measure for the Thinker – because it is theirs.

1. From Nancy Kline's book 'Time to Think'. Published in paperback by Ward Lock £9.99.

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