Have you ever heard of The Thinking Environment?

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Do you ever find yourself finishing someone else's sentences?

Until today, I thought that was clever, even helpful - a strength.

Until today, I thought that my job in conversation was to listen with the intent to respond.

It proved that I was really listening, right?


Today I discovered that the greatest gift I could give another is my attention.

To listen with the intent to understand.

Attention ignites thinking.

Have you ever heard of The Thinking Environment?

The Thinking Environment - Nancy Kline

My Mom and I met with 4 incredible ladies this morning to do a workshop on The Thinking Environment, based on the work by Nancy Kline, Author of Time to Think.

The workshop was a lucky draw prize I won at my Xtraordinary Women breakfast earlier this month. It was given to me by the two ladies who facilitated the workshop, Misty Sutton-Pryce and Nikki Mercer.

What I learned was that we create a Thinking Environment for others when we give them our full attention, allowing them to speak, without interruption.

This gives someone the opportunity to do their best thinking.

Nancy Kline became very interested in the question:

How can we think better?

And she discovered that the single most important factor is how we are treated when we are thinking.

Fear inhibits thinking. Criticism inhibits thinking. Interruption inhibits thinking. Being interrupted and being slapped in the face look the same on a brain scan.

Attention enhances thinking. Appreciation enhances thinking. Encouragement enhances thinking.

Wealthy Affiliate - A Thinking Environment

It got me thinking... perhaps that's why we so many people flourish in this community.

At Wealthy Affiliate, we have the perfect conditions to ignite our own Thinking.

When we write a blog post on Wealthy Affiliate we get to do our own thinking, uninterrupted.

As members read our posts, they are giving us their attention.

We receive appreciation and encouragement.

It's a winning formula.

What's your favourite Thinking Environment?

When or where do you do your best thinking?

What helps you think best?

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Recent Comments


I have two.
When I first wake up in the morning, while I am in and out of dosing. Fresh ideas come to me!

The second is while I am typing.

Thank you for asking.

Wonderful Donna, those are favourite thinking spots of mine too

Thank you for this article. My best Thinking area is when I sit outside and enjoy the weather.Now that it is warming up it feels so nice and peaceful.

Aah, magical, Eden! On our side, it's cooling down. Hoping for promised much needed rain.

Hi Lauren, I think best when I've woken up around 3 am and can't get to sleep again.
Sometimes I pose a question, it may not come to me straight away but it will just pop into my head when I'm not thinking about it.
I so so so agree with you regarding listening to what people are saying and giving them the space to say what's on their mind. Sometimes though it just encourages them to prattle on lol.
Yes I like to post in silence and wait in anticipation to what you guys think of my thoughts.
Good post, makes us all think and be aware.
Cheers Jae ♥

Thanks Jae. Yes, we discovered yesterday that it can be hugely constructive to be given the chance to prattle on. Hehe. It was experiential learning so most of the workshop was practicing thinking in a thinking environment.

My favorite thinking environment is when I'm totally alone and able to process information after doing my own research and/or collaborating with others on the topic.

Thanks for sharing, Erica. It was so interesting to experience such deep thinking in the presence of another. There are very specific conditions that have to be met first.

Oh I so do love this. i am a terrible interrupter and I have had to force myself to stay quiet. lol
So love this thinking environment.. yeah.. we all deserve that.. on to do better I am! Sounds like a fabulous seminar.

I am so surprised to hear that Ariel, as I think you are a wonderful listener. Yes, it was fabulous. Yesterday was our first day, looking forward to our 2nd day which will be sometime next week.

They say we are given 2 ears and only one mouth since we should always LISTEN twice as much as we speak, Lauren. The "Thinking Environment" totally supports this truism.

Thanks for sharing your experiences, they help.

Absolutely, Kaju! Awesome to see you back as an Ambassador again. Woohoo!

Awww, Thank You! I will be a much nicer ambassador this time!!

Haha Kaju. We all have our moments. It's allowed. It's how we learn. Did you see Kyle's latest post?

No, which one? I will have to look for it!

I never thought about that until you said that. The brain register being slapped in the face the same as being interrupted!
Where do you do your best thinking? -when I am here by myself or early in the morning because I am by myself.
What helps me think- talking to myself out loud so I know I'm making sense.

Tried and True


Aah, wonderful Elaine. I'm noticing a pattern here, most of us get our best thinking done when we are alone. This technique of igniting thinking in the presence of another is so foreign to us.

That's a very interesting theory, Lauren - especially that being interrupted leaves the same mark on the brain as being slapped in the face. This shows how important it is to let others finish their thoughts before we comment on them.
I can think best when I'm on my own surrounded by beautiful nature. So now I know why - because nature waits patiently for me to finish my thoughts.

Aah, beautifully expressed, Sammy. Thank you.

Thank you so much for this well thought out post Lauren! This is so important for everyone to think about and understand. I try not to interrupt but sometimes, depending on the person I am talking to, I will interject when I am very excited about a topic that we are talking about but I know that interrupting is rude! I try my best to be mindful of it but sometimes I get so excited.

My favorite place to think would be on a walk, in my bedroom completely alone uninterrupted, and also when I am painting that seems to be a very productive time for my brain to think deeply about many things. I agree with you as well that WA is a good place for people to fully think through and write out their thoughts without interruption and then receive positive feedback and help. It is a great learning and sharing environment.

Thanks for stopping by to give such a detailed comment, Malee. Really appreciate you sharing those very special places you think best.
You are so right, I get great thinking done when walking and being creative too.
So lovely to meet you.

We have two ears to hear and learn with. Two eyes to see and understand with but only one small mouth to try and not put our foot in.

Haha Tom. Spot on.

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