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Are You Interested? – Guest Post: Nancy Kline

To coincide with her visit to IMI this week Nancy Kline – the originator and pioneer of  The Thinking Environment® process shares her thoughts on attention and interest in a coaching exchange:

Are You Interested?

By Nancy Kline

 ‘You are so patient.’ I hear this after almost every Thinking Session demonstration. Other people tell me they often hear the same comment about their Attention as Thinking Partners, too. I guess what we do looks like patience. It is still. It is warm. It doesn’t rush. It breathes.

But patience is not what it is. Not remotely. Patience is a kind of waiting, a postponing. It is in reference to the moment when the thing, about which a person is being patient, will stop, and the person can finally act or speak. Patience is a polite dismissing of what is happening or being thought in this moment. It is an invisible drumming of the table. Patience wants the thing to end, but does not fan or act on that wanting. Patience is a cousin of arrogance. It is disengaged.

 Attention in a Thinking Environment is not patience.

 It is interest.

 It is breathless anticipation of what the Thinker will think, and say, next. It wants to know. It wants to hear the Thinker’s creations. It stands ready for birth.

 Patience is nowhere to be found. It is interest people are seeing. And interest does do amazing things.

 It creates thinking.

About Nancy Kline

Nancy Kline created and pioneered the development of the theory and process called The Thinking Environment®. This model allows people to turn their teams, organisations and relationships into Thinking Environments in which people at every level can think for themselves, with rigour, imagination and courage. The process increases the quality of thinking in, and thus of concrete results from, all human interactions, both in pairs and in groups, and decreases the amount of time it takes to achieve them.

As well as President of Time To Think, an international leadership development and coaching company Nancy is also a published author and public speaker.

Nancy and the other Time To Think Consultants and Coaches do Thinking Environment work in companies, universities, human resource organisations, government agencies and voluntary organisations. Thinking Environment work is active in the UK, Ireland, Sweden, Spain, The United States, Australia and South Africa.

Time To Think began in 1984 and grew out of Nancy’s consulting and teaching work near Washington, DC, where she had served as a Founding Director of The Thornton Friends School for twelve years and as Director of The Leadership Institute for six years. She is a Fellow of Ashridge College, UK.

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