Have you ever heard of The Thinking Environment?

Last Update: April 24, 2018

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?

Wrong.

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?

To Your Success


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JillAlexaVA Premium
This was a really wonderful experience.
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laurenjean Premium
It was, hey Ma? Special times.
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CJardin Premium
Yes, that is a slap in my face....times when we are too rushed to finish listening...ouch, this really confirmed it for me! And than there is the WA experience, as you said it really does validate our ability to expand our thoughts to better solutions as we are spoiled with uninterrupted brain power!
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laurenjean Premium
Yes, Carrie. We are so fortunate to have this safe, uninterrupted, supportive space.
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JillAlexaVA Premium
Hi Lauren. The training was great. I do my best thinking early in the morning. In bed with cup of coffee.xxx
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laurenjean Premium
Nice!! I also think sometimes in the wee hours when I'm in bed, listening to the sound of the waves rolling into shore.
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Kyra-Lynn Premium
Hey Lauren,

I would have to say that my best thinking is done when I'm out in nature alone, I wish I had a laptop that held a charge and a Wi-Fi stick to go with it so I could blog outdoors among the trees and animals. That's where my mind seems to be completely unburdened by anything else and I can finally think freely. One other place is when I'm home alone in the peace and quiet, but that's a rare occurrence.

Anyways, thanks for the great post Lauren, it reminded me of the ways in which I center my thoughts and thought processes. Very timely and helpful as I've been having an off week, with near zero productivity. I think I'll go for a walk in the woods today.

Kyra-Lynn
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laurenjean Premium
Aah, interesting Kyra-Lynn.
I have portable WiFi and a fresh laptop battery... you've given me a great idea.
Sorry to hear you're having an off week. Hope your walk in the woods clears your mind and leaves you feeling refreshed.
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CandiGirl71 Premium
Lauren, like you I always thought that finishing someone's sentence meant we were on the same page and understanding each other. A compliment to their communication skills, I thought. I thought it meant that I was paying attention to them closely.

Then I was in a professional setting and was told that it was not a good thing to do. That it was actually rude to interrupt and assume I knew the speaker's next words. Needless to say, I was appalled that my behavior was viewed so negatively.

I have since tried very hard to break the habit of finishing someone else's sentences. It is difficult to do, at the very least. It has been over a year since the incident and I have made some improvement, but there is a lot of room for more yet. I daily fight the urge to speak at the wrong time and have to keep my attention on what someone is saying. What can I say, I'm a work in progress.

Candice
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laurenjean Premium
Hi Candice, you are not alone. That's exactly the problem I have. I have to constantly check that urge to interrupt.
And yes, that's exactly how they explained it to us... if we're finishing someone's sentences we're not allowing them to complete their thought. We're assuming we know what they might say rather than listening attentively to what they actually say.
It was a big wake-up call for me too and I'm sure it's going to take time and lots of practice before I master this new skill.
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MojalefaR Premium
Hi Lauren, My best thinking happens when I am driving all alone, no music, just the drone of the car. I als so think best when I shower of bathe.

Thanks for a lovely post.
Mojalefa.
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laurenjean Premium
Hi Mojalefa, thanks for sharing. The common thread seems to be everyone does their best thinking when they are ALONE. Which really makes what we learnt interesting. For once, we got our best thinking done in the presence of others. It was amazing.
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firstlearn Premium
Hello Lauren, my bst time is when there is something totally uninteresting on the tv. My mind drifts off to better things.

Derek
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laurenjean Premium
Aah, interesting Derek. My husband also finds TV good thinking time.
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gjshawk Premium
In my bed when I'm tossing and turning and can't sleep because I had too much caffeine. Nothing else to do but think or watch TV.
Grant :-)
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laurenjean Premium
Hooray for caffeine... Allowing thinkers to think the world over.
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dtout Premium
I enjoyed this very muchbecause it semed you were speaking to me and no one else. It drew me in, and I love the ape photo.
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laurenjean Premium
Wonderful Donna, I'm delighted to hear you felt that way. The Apr photo is my fave thinking photo too... Just didn't think it would be appropriate to use it for the Nancy Kline quotes. Wouldn't want to offend her.
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dtout Premium
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.
Donna
Kansas
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laurenjean Premium
Wonderful Donna, those are favourite thinking spots of mine too
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edensbox Premium
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.
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laurenjean Premium
Aah, magical, Eden! On our side, it's cooling down. Hoping for promised much needed rain.
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Flash4 Premium
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 ♥
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laurenjean Premium
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.
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lynnsam61 Premium
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.
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laurenjean Premium
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.
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arielharris7 Premium
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.
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laurenjean Premium
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.
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jetrbby80316 Premium
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.
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laurenjean Premium
Absolutely, Kaju! Awesome to see you back as an Ambassador again. Woohoo!
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jetrbby80316 Premium
Awww, Thank You! I will be a much nicer ambassador this time!!
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laurenjean Premium
Haha Kaju. We all have our moments. It's allowed. It's how we learn. Did you see Kyle's latest post?
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jetrbby80316 Premium
No, which one? I will have to look for it!
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ElaineSmith1 Premium
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

Elaine
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laurenjean Premium
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.
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Sammy-B Premium
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.
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laurenjean Premium
Aah, beautifully expressed, Sammy. Thank you.
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Mland444 Premium
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.
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laurenjean Premium
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.
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Tirolith Premium
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.
Tom.
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laurenjean Premium
Haha Tom. Spot on.
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