The most valuable thing we can offer each other is the framework in which to think for ourselves” – Nancy Kline


One of the processes I use in my practice when working with team leaders or managers that want to become a more effective leader is the ‘Time to Think’ approach.

This modality was created and developed by Nancy Kline. The basis of this methodology is formed around the concept that 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. During our sessions, I teach these leaders how to manage and empower their teams to create a more efficient and inspiring working environment.
To explain it in a nutshell – there are 10 behaviours/components that generate the best independent thinking. In the presence of these ten behaviours, people think for themselves with rigour, imagination, courage and grace.

Time to Think Nancy Kline

Ten Components of creating a Thinking Environment®.


  1. Attention
    The quality of your attention determines the quality of other people’s thinking. Listening without interruption and with interest in where a person will go next in their thinking leads to a more effective and creative thinking process.

2. Equality
Everyone is valued equally as a thinker. When everyone knows they will get a turn to speak and a turn to give attention it creates a more relaxed environment with more genuine attention and more succinct speaking.

3. Ease
Having an internal state free from rush or urgency creates the best conditions for thinking. This is not particularly easy to achieve in our current environment but can be done by cultivating internal ease.

4. Appreciation
In most discussions, the focus is usually first on things that are not working. In order for the mind to work at its best, appreciation needs to be present. Having the right ratio of appreciation present – noticing what is good and saying it – helps individuals and groups think at their best.

5. Encouragement
The goal should never be to reach comparative individual success but to create a non-competitive environment where there is a wholehearted, unthreatened search for good ideas.

6. Feelings
Unexpressed feelings can inhibit good thinking. When we relax and welcome it when a person expresses their feelings, good thinking will continue because they are able to express themselves without becoming upset.

7. Information
We receive information all the time – full and accurate information leads to intellectual integrity. When the information we have at hand is incorrect or limited, we can’t have a quality thinking process. Absorbing all of the facts (data, social context etc.) and dismantling denial is the first step to good independent thinking.

8. Difference
Embracing the differences of each person in the group creates a greater chance of accurate, cutting-edge thinking. When there is no reprisal for thinking differently you are championing the inherent diversity of identity and thought.

9. Incisive Questions
Assumptions lived as truth limits the mind and block high-quality independent thinking. A good Incisive Question removes the limiting assumption and frees the mind to a wealth of great ideas.

10. Place
The physical environment is a silent form of appreciation that confirms importance. When the body is cared for and respected, thinking improves. Creating a space where people can feel that their value is reflected will improve the thinking process.


Each Component is powerful individually, but the presence of all ten working together gives this process its transformative impact. Through all the years utilizing the “Time to Think” process, it has proven to be a very effective tool in helping leaders become more efficient and empowering.

Feel free to contact me for more information on how I can assist you in becoming a better leader through Life Coaching sessions.


– Crystal Energy Healer, Psychologist Life Coach and Hypnotherapist in Cape Town, Western Cape. Contact me for Chakra balancing, Solution Focused Life Coaching and Clinical Hypnosis.

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