Time to Think by Nancy Kline

Summary of Time to Think

‘Most people think they listen well, but they rarely do – not at this level. Listening this way is a radical act.

The power of effective listening is recognised as the essential tool of good management. In ‘Time to Think’, Nancy Kline describes how we can achieve this, and presents a step-by-step guide that can be used in any situation.

Whether you want to have more productive meetings, solve business problems, create bold strategies, or build stronger relationships, this book offers you a new world of possibilities.

From blue chip companies developing high-powered teams to individuals seeking personal growth, a Thinking Environment has come to mean transformation of the highest quality.’


‘Usually the brain that contains the problem also contains the solution – often the best one.’

Nancy Kline

As coaches, listening is the most important skill we possess.

When working with a client, it’s the active listening that stands you apart from a friend or colleague. It’s what makes you professional. It’s what helps you craft the insightful questions that will help your client find the answers they seek.

If you can’t listen effectively, you can’t coach effectively.

I was recommended ‘Time to Think‘ very recently and I’m so glad I read it. Not only did it underpin all the learning that took place as part of my coaching diploma, it enhanced it even further.

Nancy Kline takes the reader on a journey from understanding the power of a space to think, to actively showing you how to establish a thinking environment. All backed by her years of research into how we think, how we listen and how we communicate.

Not only does Nancy teach you how to develop a Thinking Environment in your place of work or in an educational setting, she also guides you on how to develop one as a family and within your close relationships. Invaluable if, like me, your children are about to enter their ‘teenage years’…

Top Takeaway

But what I loved the most (and I really did love this book) is how much it focuses on helping people overcome their limiting beliefs. Our negative assumptions can stop us doing the things we strive to do, squashing our ambitions like a big bum on a beanbag.

Through simple yet profound questioning, you can take clients/friends/family members from a place of confusion to a place of clarity. From a place of fear to one of belief.

Don’t get me wrong, there is a structure, but it’s not restrictive. Instead, it just helps to shape the conversation in a way that truly helps both the listener and the thinker.

I used the strategies with my eldest son recently during a ‘teenage moment’ and it just changed everything. He was able to self-regulate more quickly and came up with his own solution to the problem. It was all over before it had really even started.

But the most important thing?

He felt listened to. Validated. Like his worries mattered to someone other than him. Instead of trying to come up with the solution, I just listened. I used the model to help me structure the conversation in a way to help him, rather than trying to pile in with my ideas.

I felt a true connection and, with a teenage son, that’s truly a wonderful thing.


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