top of page

The Thinking Environment



We live in a world of exchange thinking – a world where most of us listen in order to respond to others, rather than to truly hear what they have to say.  And taking time to think for ourselves is a rarity as we wrestle with competing time pressures, the continual drive for action and a culture of group think.

A Thinking Environment however, is a place where people can really be listened to and heard.  As a result they can think better for themselves, and both individuals and organisations benefit from the resulting creative and courageous thinking. With better thinking, we make better decisions, take better actions, achieve better results.

Introducing the Thinking Environment

Experience The Thinking Environment for yourself in an engaging and interactive 60-90 minute session.  In a workshop designed around your real issues and challenges, find out:

  • how a Thinking Environment promotes high quality thinking and decision making

  • how it helps to build trust and unleash creativity

  • how equality, diversity and inclusion are embedded in the fabric of the meeting

  • what it feels like when someone helps to ignite your thinking

  • how it can transform team, group and one-to-one meetings of all kinds

Coaching in a Thinking Environment

How far can you go with your own thinking before you need input from someone else? Coaching in a Thinking Environment provides you with the time and space to do your best independent thinking.

This non-directive approach to coaching puts the coachee at its epicentre and the session is wholly client-led.  By providing generative attention, transformative listening and the promise not to interrupt, the coach supports their client to go to the cutting edge of their own thinking, and beyond, to find ways forward.  It is a powerful experience and, once unleashed, you’ll discover that your fully-independent thinking continues long after your coaching session has finished.


Using the Thinking Environment framework which generates creative, clear thinking, we can help you to think through whatever challenges you or your team might be facing with easeful facilitation. We can partner with you on strategic away days, team or Board meetings and will work closely with you to prepare your agenda and help you to get courageous, innovative thinking and results from the day.

“I would highly recommend Marian if you want to transform the way your organisations approaches ‘thinking’. Marian introduced us to the Thinking Environment when she supported us in facilitating our Reward and Recognition task force meetings. We asked Marian to support us due to her extensive experience, professional approach and ability to see things from lots of different angles. Marian used the Thinking Environment to create a calm and constructive environment which allowed everyone in the meeting of all levels to have their voice heard. It worked incredibly well and we made progress quickly. We were extremely keen to start to incorporate some of the techniques Marian had used in this meeting and this resulted in Marian delivering a ‘transforming meetings’ workshop for our Leadership Team. Marian’s approach to this workshop was the perfect combination of theory and practical application which allowed us to start to implement positive changes almost immediately.”

Danielle Hunt, Chief Executive, Pharmacist Support.


Transforming Meetings

Meetings fill up to 50% of our time but how useful are they? And virtual meetings put an extra strain on our ability to connect, build trust, and work collaboratively together.  Some very simple techniques such as framing agenda topics as questions and taking roughly equal turns in a round to think about the questions, uninterrupted, can transform the quality of the thinking in any meeting.

This one-day programme (which can be run on-line over two half days) teaches the first steps in holding more productive, creative meetings where all voices are heard and independent thinking flourishes. Available for up to eight people, this programme is perfect for teams who want to run great meetings where everyone’s thinking is sought and valued.

Participants are introduced to the 10 Components of a Thinking Environment and practice the Building Blocks, namely Thinking Pairs, Rounds, Dialogue and Open Discussion, which can be used in meetings, group discussion, 1:1s and appraisals, and use real life issues to show how fruitful this approach can be.

“I was fortunate to attend a Transforming Meetings workshop run by Marian as a member of a local cultural partnership.  The training has already proved helpful in finding a way for the partnership to strengthen and develop in the future, whilst the skills learnt are also transferable into my role of CEO of an independent charitable trust in the heritage sector.  Creating conducive spaces for all team members to think and to vocalise their thoughts in a positive and empowered environment is helping to drive real and effective change at a time when it is most needed.”

Rob Sanderson-Thomas, CEO, Norton Priory Museum and Gardens


“The quality of everything we do depends on

the quality of the thinking we do first.”

Nancy Kline, founder of Time to Think


Over 35 years of observing what factors impact on our capacity to think well, Nancy Kline and Time to Think colleagues have identified certain components which, when used as a system for thinking, enable everyone to do their finest independent thinking and have a profound effect on our interactions with others.

Collectively these aspects of Attention, Equality, Ease, Appreciation, Encouragement, Feelings, Information, Difference, Incisive Questions and Place are known as the ‘Ten Components’.  Introducing just a few of these components to our ways of working can make a difference, applying all of them simultaneously to create a Thinking Environment they can have a transformative effect. 

Find out more about how this approach can support you in enhancing communications, building trust, harnessing diversity, solving problems creatively, improving stakeholder relations and making great decisions, by exploring some of the group and individual applications offered above.  

bottom of page