Attention and Ease- the way to success

Attention and Ease are two keys to good thinking – and success

Time to Think

I recently re-read Nancy Kline’s More Time to Thinkand was again struck at how important attentionand easeare for clear thinking; people need to be valued for their individuality and feel that they are being valued and both ease and attention make people feel heard.  When we really listen to a person with all our attention and we don’t rush the conversation, the person who is thinking can really think well.  This is the focus of her Thinking Environment, to help people to think well. Kline says, “The quality of everything human beings do, everything – everything – depends on the quality of the thinking we do first.”

Listen and be Curious, pay real Attention

When listening to one another, we often listen to respond.  This is a trap.  If we do that, we are not really paying attention to what the speaker is saying.  We may just want to push our own agenda.

Instead, we need to be really interested in the person, and what is being said.  Really interested, and alsovery curious.  If we do that, the person feels very valued and the person has the time to think through the questions.

Kline says, “If you give Attention of generative quality, born of deep interest in what the person thinks and will say next, they will think better around you than they will if you interrupt them or listen only to reply.”  This concept is so very important.  Attention makes the person feel affirmed as an intelligent human being. This, in turn makes them feel at ease within themselves, which is also one of the components Kline advocates in her Listening Environment.

There is no rush, create Ease

If there is no rush, if the thinker is feeling listened to, there is a sense of ease, so that the Thinking person doesn’t feel rushed to make a decision.  The time to reflect is key in Kline’s theory, as is in many coaching concepts.  “If you are at Ease inside yourself, regardless of the degree of (mostly manufactured) urgency and rush outside you, people with think better (and faster) around you than if you are in a hurry yourself.”

Thus by following these two principals, we can help people to think whether we are coaches or not, by honoring the Thinker’s individuality as intelligent thinking human being. This can be done by being really curious about what they are thinking and saying, and by not rushing them in their thinking process, letting them think through the subject, until they have finished.  Seems simple, doesn’t it?  But don’t be fooled; this is something to learn how to do.

I wish you all a very thoughtful unrushed rest of the spring.

Patricia Jehle