Ten Components of a Thinking Environment®

The ten behaviours that generate the finest thinking

The quality of everything we do depends on the quality of the thinking we do first. The quality of our thinking depends on the way we treat each other while we are thinking.

The ten behaviours that generate the finest thinking, and have become known as The Ten Components of a Thinking Environment, are: Attention, Equality, Ease, Appreciation, Encouragement, Feelings, Information, Diversity, Incisive Questions, Place.

Each Component is powerful individually, but the presence of all ten working together gives this process its transformative impact.

  1. ATTENTION: Listening with palpable respect, with interest in where the thinker will go next, and without interruption
  2. EQUALITY: Treating each other as thinking peers + Giving equal turns and attention + Keeping agreements and boundaries
  3. EASE: Offering freedom from internal rush or urgency
  4. APPRECIATION: Offering genuine acknowledgement of a person’s qualities + Practising a 5:1 ratio of appreciation to criticism
  5. ENCOURAGEMENT: Giving courage to go to the unpopular or cutting edge of ideas by moving beyond internal competition
  6. FEELINGS: Allowing sufficient emotional release to restore thinking
  7. INFORMATION: Supplying the facts + Dismantling denial
  8. DIVERSITY: Welcoming divergent thinking and diverse group identities
  9. INCISIVE QUESTIONS (TM): Removing assumptions that limit our ability to think for ourselves clearly and creatively
  10. PLACE: Creating a physical (and virtual) environment that says back to people, “You matter.”