The Power of Thinking
When was the last time you had the time and space to think something through? Really think it through, without any distractions, interruptions or (more or less helpful) suggestions from others? At a recent workshop, I had the opportunity to do just that - and realised that I couldn’t remember the last time that happened!
So much of our social interactions are geared towards having conversations, exchanging views, and building on other peoples’ ideas. And while this is wonderful most of the time, when it comes to generating great ideas and solutions, it’s often quite unhelpful, because it can prevent us from coming up with our own, best thoughts and developing them in full.
Imagine this. You’re asking a colleague for help with tackling a challenge or making a difficult decision. But rather than going into problem solving mode, offering advice and their own thoughts, your colleague listens, giving you attention and room to think out loud, all the way, until you genuinely run out of steam and get to the end of your thought process. They hold back until they are sure that you really have nothing else to add.
You may be questioning why you would need to be with someone else to fully develop your thoughts in that way. However during the workshop, we were all amazed how much more than expected we thought and knew when given the permission to peel back the layers of our thinking without any interjections or interruptions. Could it be that by thinking out loud in front of an audience, our mind feels it has to give its best?
This is not advocating abandoning teamwork. Quite the opposite: it’s encouragement to foster and value more original thinking from everyone. Give it a try!