Coaching, Training and Mentoring Based on The Thinking Environment®

Jane’s coaching, training and mentoring is centred around The Thinking Environment principles. The Thinking Environment is based upon the observation that ‘the quality of everything we, as human beings do, depends upon the quality of the thinking we do first’.  This was so beautifully identified, over 30 years ago, by Nancy Kline, best-selling author of three books, founder of Time to Think, a leadership and coaching consultancy and a most wonderful teacher.

‘The most valuable thing we can offer each other is the framework to think for ourselves.’  The question that underpins both the observation and this framework is ‘how do we help others think well for themselves?’
The Thinking Environment is, in my experience, a powerful leadership framework designed to generate the highest quality thinking from an individual or team.  The difference that helps others to think well for themselves is the way we behave around them.

Thinking Environment Coaching has been described by coaching experts as one of the most effective client-centred methods on the market. It puts the independent thinking of the client first in its aims. This method allows clients to truly think for themselves:

– to go beyond dependence on the coach’s views, guidance or analysis

– to come up with ideas, directions, understandings and solutions for themselves that can be staggeringly accurate, imaginative and practical.

For some, this may feel radical in its nature. Radical because often individuals have fallen into the trap of depending upon another’s thinking, those more senior, who pay them before thinking for themselves. Others feel they have to conform to what is, fearful of retribution of what they might think or say.

The Thinking Environment Coach begins with the assumption that there is no process more powerful, no intervention more accurate, no set of questions more penetrating than the depth and quality of Attention that we offer. The Thinking Environment Coach does not rush a client’s thinking, rather it’s simplicity is described as being at the far side of complexity.

Nancy Kline has observed a set of behaviours that generate the best thinking in others.  In fact, I have experienced through embodying these 10 behaviours, the quality of my own independent thinking has increased!

Giving your Attention with deep curiosity in what the person is saying and where they will go next will help them think better around you rather than if you interrupt them or listen simply to reply.

Regarding the person thinking as your thinking Equal, regardless of hierarchy, will mean they think better around you.

Being at Ease yourself, free from urgency or the rush outside of you, will help others think better than if you are in a rush yourself.

If you genuinely Appreciate people 5 times more than you criticise them, they will think more imaginatively around you than if you focus on you their faults.

When you Encourage people, build with them their courage to go to the edge of their thinking, they will think better around you than if you compete with them.

If you offer accurate Information that is in service of their thinking and respect what they may be facing, they will think better than if you collude with their assumptions about what is true and what it is not true.

When you allow for them to express their Feelings:  their tears, their anger, their frustration, they will think better around you rather than if you step over or seek to avoid their feelings.

If you are interested in the Diversity between you and others, the differences between you, they will think better around you than if you prefer others to think and be just like you.

If you can ask people an Incisive Question to cut through what is a limiting assumption and replace it with one that is more liberating, they will tap into their natural creative, resourceful self where breakthroughs and fresh ideas are born.

When you prepare the Place for thinking together that says ‘you matter’ they will think better around you, than if you allow the place to feel intimidating and peppered with interruptions.